MADISON, Wis. — The war of words between Spansion and Macronix, entangled in several separate legal fights over flash memory, escalated last week when Macronix issued a press release entitled “Macronix Demands Spansion Cease and Desist False and Misleading Statements Concerning Macronix.” A Spansion executive followed up by calling EE Times Tuesday in an effort to swing public opinion to his side.
Unfolding in the public eye is a spectacle of competing flash memory chip vendors at each other’s throat, with no sign that either will budge from its claims. At risk are the credibility and public image of both and, most important, the trust of their customers.
Expect a bumpy road on the suits and countersuits throughout the year, with the earliest ruling expected between August and September this year, when the International Trade Commission (ITC) decides whether to exclude Macronix products from the United States.
Macronix International (Hsinchu, Taiwan) last week issued a statement demanding that “Spansion, Inc. cease and desist from making false, deceptive, and/or misleading statements concerning Macronix -- including Spansion’s press releases and unsupported remarks of its senior executives.” The statement noted, “Macronix will hold Spansion and those executives accountable for such misconduct.”
During an interview with EE Times, Ali Pourkeramati, senior vice president of strategic alliances and business development at Spansion, countered Macronix’ claim: “We’ve been always factual -- by the book from the beginning. We’ve never made false statements to the press or to the customer.”
If Macronix’ latest press release is any indication, Pourkeramati suspects that Macronix might be losing confidence in its legal case. He sees its hyperbolic tone as a sign of desperation, implying that the Taiwanese company might be seeking in the court of public opinion what it might not win in a court of law.
Obviously, there’s no way to forecast the outcome of all this litigation. However, it is possible to untangle this legal fight by sorting which trials are pending where, and when we expect to hear rulings.
Next Page: Pending cases