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Intel Accused of Infringing FinFET Patents of the Microelectronics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Today we are finding out that Intel has allegedly infringed FinFET patents of Microelectronics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. On July 28th, the patent review committee has heard an application that accuses Intel of violating a patent 201110240931.5 commonly referred to as FinFET patent. The patent dates back to 2011, and it comes from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, mainly Microelectronics Institute. The Chinese patent holders are asking for as much as 200 million yuan, which roughly translates to 28,664,380 US dollars. Given that this patent infringement is a major one for Intel, it is sure that a company will be pursued extensively in court. All of the Intel's semiconductors use FinFET technology, and if this is true, the violation is rather big. For more in detail reading, please refer to the source which goes through the history of Intel and Microelectronics Institute patent violation filing.
Intel 3rd generation FInFETs

TSMC Files Complaints Against GlobalFoundries for Infringement of 25 Patents

TSMC, the world's leading global innovator in semiconductor manufacturing, filed multiple lawsuits on September 30, 2019 against GlobalFoundries in the United States, Germany and Singapore for its ongoing infringement of 25 TSMC patents by at least its 40nm, 28nm, 22nm, 14nm, and 12nm node processes. In the complaints, TSMC demands injunctions to stop GlobalFoundries' manufacture and sale of infringing semiconductor products. TSMC also seeks substantial monetary damages from GlobalFoundries for its sale of infringing semiconductor products and unlawful use of TSMC's patented semiconductor technologies.

The 25 TSMC patents in the complaints relate to a diverse set of technologies, including FinFET designs, shallow trench isolation techniques, double patterning methods, advanced seal rings and gate structures, and innovative contact etch stop layer designs. These specific technologies cover the core features of mature and advanced semiconductor manufacturing processes. The patents at issue comprise just a small portion of TSMC's extensive portfolio that numbers more than 37,000 granted patents worldwide. TSMC was ranked one of the top 10 companies for U.S. patent grants last year, for the third consecutive year.

AMD Wins Back Three Graphics Patents from LG

AMD won back ownership of three graphics patents that had earlier been struck down on a complaint by LG Electronics. A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overruled a ruling of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) which observed that AMD subsidiary ATI Technologies ULC (now reorganized as RTG), has a claim to U.S. patents numbered 7,742,053, 6,897,871, and 7,327,369. The three patents deal with critical technology related to Unified Shaders.

The PTAB had earlier dismissed ATI's ownership of the patents on grounds that the IP claimed was "too obvious in light of prior art." A bench of three Judges in a unanimous decision ruled that ATI had "had conceived of their inventions before the prior art." Put simply, the court was satisfied that the technologies protected by these patents were invented by ATI before the "prior art," and were not "obvious next steps" to it.

Microsoft Joins the Open Invention Network, Adds 60,000 Patents To Protect Linux and Open Source

Steve Ballmer once said 'Linux is a cancer'. Times have changed a lot, and since Satya Nadella became CEO of Microsoft, Linux and Open Source have become really important for Redmond's company. Azure is based on Linux, for example, and this OS dominates the cloud platform with about half of Azure VMs being Linux ones). Running Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, SuSE or Fedora is also possible natively under Windows 10 through Windows Subsystem for Linux.

The company has made big strategic acquisitions, and Microsoft recently acquired Github, but that approach to Linux and Open Source goes further with the new announcement. Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a consortium that defines itself as a "shared defensive patent pool with the mission to protect Linux". With that move, Microsoft is bringing 60,000 patents to OIN that will be available royalty-free to anyone who joins the OIN community.
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