LONDON Ė STMicrolectronics NV has filed a complaint in the Northern District of California alleging that InvenSense Inc., a supplier of motion tracking components based on MEMS technology, infringes nine ST patents, InvenSense said Thursday (May 17).
InvenSense (Sunnyvale, Calif.) provided a legal update and stated that it contests ST's claims and intends to defend itself. The company said it is fully committed to its entire product portfolio, and all its products continue to be available to customers.
ST (Geneva, Switzerland) is a leading supplier of MEMS components with approximately $900 million in annual sales of MEMS components and MEM foundry services. STMicroelectronics was the leading producer of both MEMS gyroscopes and MEMS accelerometers in 2011, according to IHS-iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.). The market research firm asserts that ST is the sole supplier of gyroscopes and accelerometers for the iPhone and iPad and Apple accounted for half of ST's MEMS business in 2011.
Meanwhile InvenSense has also seen great success with combination sensors that combine multi-axis accelerometer and gyroscopes. InvenSense claims to have been the first company to produce a six-axis motion sensing product, with a three-axis gyroscope and three-axis accelerometer on the same die, which it did in 2011. In 2012 the company produced a 9-axis motion-sensing product including a 3-axis compass in the same package as it had used for the six-axis component in 2011.
InvenSense staged a successful initial public offering of shares in November 2011 that raised $75 million for the company. The stock opened at $8.25 and has been as high as $22.35. The stock closed at $10.31 on Thursday (May 17).
I agree that the patent law is bogus in its current form. But, that's what we have now and we have to figure out how to use this bogus principle and make an even playing field for the entire community while lining the pockets of the lawyers and judges.
ST is utilizing their financial strength to slow down their competitor with the help of the bogus law. This is a smart thing to do. Business 101 my friend. Welcome to the wonderful world of patent law!
Law is the only field where people practicing in its field gets to judge other profession's values. A judge who usually is non-scientific gets to hear from expert witnesses from both sides and renders a "judgement" without having any clue on the underlying evolution. I feel sorry for Invensense, now they have to spend their money raised in IPO paying off the lawyers instead of using that money for innovative products that a startup typically brings out. Patent law in its current form is bogus. The lawyers are stealing the capital from Invensense legally!!!
Shame on ST that they have to resort to court battles instead of fighting in the market.
Is this a surpise for MEMS world? Any working MEMS hard to find alternatives, like
TI dominates DLP, HP dominates inkjet head....
I won't be surpised to hear that 95% of Invensense is its own invention, all it takes 5% using others' patents, they need to pay the price.
The problem is Invensene' structure is so unique that STM might not use them anyway, so you can not counter-sue them.