27 April 2011

GigOptix sues Optomai, former staff and M/A-COM

GigOptix Inc of Palo Alto, CA, USA, which designs modulator drivers, laser drivers and transimpedance amplifier (TIA) ICs based on III-V materials as well as polymer electro-optic modulators for 40–100Gb/s fiber-optic communications systems, filed a lawsuit on 25 April against Silicon Valley-based firm Optomai Inc and five former GigOptix employees in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Subsequently, on 26 April, following the announcement of the acquisition of Optomai by M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components, and subassemblies for RF, microwave and millimeter-wave applications), GigOptix amended the lawsuit to name M/A-COM Tech as an additional defendant.

Optomai describes itself as a fabless semiconductor company that develops high-performance integrated circuits and modules for next-generation 40Gbps and 100Gbps fiber-optic networks. Its product portfolio includes high-speed optoelectronic ICs such as 40G and 100G laser modulator drivers and TIAs for both line-side and client-side applications. M/A-COM Tech says that Optomai’s expertise in gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) circuit design complements its existing CATV/broadcast and point-to-point/infrastructure businesses, and accelerates its penetration of the rapidly growing optical communications market.

The lawsuit alleges that the former GigOptix employees violated confidentiality agreements with GigOptix by retaining and misusing confidential and proprietary information to launch a competing company.

According to the lawsuit, the former employees created Optomai in 2009 and have begun selling products that directly compete with GigOptix’s products. GigOptix further alleges that its technology and intellectual property were used by Optomai to develop products in violation of California law and that it is now selling its products as the ‘Optomai Optoelectronics’ product line of MA-COM. GigOptix is seeking damages and injunctive relief.

“GigOptix is committed to zealously protecting its intellectual property,” comments chairman of the board & CEO Dr Avi Katz. “We will take every step necessary to protect the technology we have developed and to ensure that our rights, the value we have created for our shareholders and business success are not compromised.”

See related items:

M/A-COM Tech buys modulator driver and TIA designer Optomai

Tags: GigOptix M/A-COM Tech

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Visit: www.macomtech.com

Visit: http://optomai.com

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