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21 December 2016

Infineon refutes statement by MACOM on lawsuit

Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has commented that the lawsuit between it, its subsidiary Infineon Technologies Americas Corp of Milpitas, CA, USA, and MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for analog RF, microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic applications) is still in its early stages, that the court has made no decision on the merits, and that MACOM has neither won the case nor is settlement imminent.

MACOM's dispute originates from irreconcilable business philosophies, states Infineon, adding that, whereas it generally welcomes competition and has entered into license agreements with many of its competitors allowing broad freedom to operate, MACOM prefers exclusion. However, whether MACOM or Infineon ultimately prevails in the lawsuit, the outcome should determine whether MACOM continues to be licensed to certain Infineon Americas patents. Infineon Americas owns the patents at issue and has the rights it needs for its own operations.

Origins of the lawsuit

Infineon claims that MACOM had been willfully infringing patents owned by Infineon Americas by operating outside the scope of a license agreement. MACOM admitted to the infringement but rejected Infineon America's offer to broaden the license agreement to cover the infringement, the firm adds. Infineon Americas therefore terminated MACOM's license in March. MACOM then filed a complaint in the US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. While no decision has been made on the merits, the court dismissed claims in MACOM's second attempt at a complaint in October (MACOM had voluntarily amended its first one). It has recently filed a third version. Infineon believes that the third complaint is still flawed and will move to dismiss this week. Once the lawsuit eventually proceeds, Infineon expects a decision within 1-2 years.

Injunction aims to preserve status quo until judgement made

To preserve the status quo until the court reaches a decision, the court issued a preliminary injunction that serves to shield MACOM from irreparable harm should it ultimately succeed in its lawsuit, while Infineon can seek to recover damages from MACOM later if Infineon prevails. Infineon says that the preliminary injunction is not a threat to its business plans.

Specifically, and contrary to statements by MACOM, the court has made no decision that Infineon has "acted improperly in trying to operate in MACOM's exclusive field", says Infineon. To the extent that MACOM has given the impression through press releases, analyst calls and customer communication that it has won the case or that settlement is imminent, such impressions are false, asserts Infineon.

See related items:

MACOM announces final order of preliminary injunction against Infineon

US District Court grants MACOM preliminary injunction against Infineon on GaN-on-Si rights

MACOM sues Infineon over Nitronex GaN technology for 4G/LTE and 5G networks

Infineon completes acquisition of International Rectifier

MACOM acquires Nitronex for $26m

Tags: M/A-COM Nitronex GaN-on-Si RF power transistors Infineon International Rectifier

Visit: www.infineon.com

Visit: www.irf.com

Visit: www.macom.com/gan

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