SAN FRANCISCO—Non-volatile memory IP vendor Kilopass Technology Inc. has inked a patent license deal with an unnamed customer of rival Sidense Inc., the first such deal the company has reached with a Sidense customer.
The deal is potentially significant because Kilopass (Santa Clara, Calif.) contends that IP marketed by Sidense infringes on Kilopass patents. Depending on the resolution of ongoing patent litigation between Kilopass and Sidense—currently set to go to trial in September—every Sidense customer could be required to license Kilopass's 1T to avoid infringing Kilopass's patents, according to Charlie Cheng, Kilopass's CEO.
Kiloposs said it is offering the 1T patent coverage license program to address Sidense customers' concerns about the potential ramifications of the litigation. The 1T patent coverage license covers three U.S. patents assigned to Kilopass. The patent coverage license addresses existing products that have taped out and does not include future products, Kilopass said.
Cheng said Kilopass hopes that Sidense customers will eventually be Kilopass customers so it makes sense for the company to come to an arrangement with them about the technology. "Offering a patent license to Sidense customers is good business for us," he said.
Kilopass filed a suit against Sidense in 2010 alleging infringement of Kilopass' one-transistor antifuse technology. Sidense fired back a lawsuit of its own last year alleging defamation and unfair competition by Kilopass and by Cheng himself.
Cheng said Tuesday (March 13) that both sides have now completed the discovery phase of pre-trial litigation. The trial is set to commence in U.S. District Court in Northern California on Sept. 30.
Asked about the possibility of reaching a settlement prior to the trial, Cheng said there was very little chance of that happening, particularly after both sides have invested large sums of money in legal fees to get to this point. "We are going to go to trial," Cheng said. "We are so close and have spent most of the money already, so we might as well go to trial and win."
Sidense could not immediately be reached for comment.