LONDON Ė EDA company Tela Innovations Inc. has filed complaints with the U.S.
International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court for Delaware
alleging patent infringement against several cell phone and consumer electronics vendors
including HTC, LG, Motorola and Nokia.
Tela (Los Gatos, Calif.) provides a variety of IC design solutions to
system chip companies and their foundries including cell libraries,
design services and software for computational lithography, much of it
aimed at the leading-edge 28-nm, 20-nm CMOS and FinFET technologies.
The move by the small but well-connected EDA company underlines the importance of EDA to leading-edge consumer electronics and may yet have repurcussions for other companies in the semiconductor supply chain. It is likely that only equipment suppliers have been targeted at this time because the responsibility of importing allegedly infringing products in to the U.S. market place can be laid at their door.
Tela alleges that the respondents cited in its filings have been infringing seven of Tela's United States patents. The patents relate to various aspects of advanced IC manufacturing design and physical implementation, Tela said.
The list of allegedly infringing companies includes: HTC Corp., HTC America Inc., LG Electronics Inc., LG Electronics U.S.A. Inc., LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A. Inc., Motorola Mobility LLC, Nokia Corp., Nokia Inc., Pantech Co. Ltd. and Pantech Wireless Inc.
Tela's complaint with the ITC seeks an order to prevent the importation and sale of allegedly infringing smartphones, tablet computers and other electronics devices. Under its rules the ITC has 30 days from the filing of the complaint to decide whether to launch an investigation. The Delaware complaints seek a permanent injunction and compensatory damages.
"Tela has Ė and continues to Ė create technology to address critical technical and economic challenges facing the semiconductor industry. Our products enable designers to achieve the best performance, area and power characteristics possible as semiconductor processes continue to scale. Given the significance of our company's investment in this technology and associated products, it was necessary to take legal action at this time," said Scott Becker, president and CEO of Tela, in a statement.
Tela, founded in 2005, is backed by strategic investors and venture capital firms that include including Intel Capital, Cadence Design Systems Inc., KT Venture Group LLC (the investment partner of KLA-Tencor Corp.) and Qualcomm Inc. The company announced in mid-2012 that it was ready with cell libraries for the 32/28-nm and 22/20-nm process nodes and the company also appointed an intellectual property legal counsel in 2012.
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