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4 November 2016

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

MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for analog RF, microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic applications) says that the US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles has granted its request for a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against Infineon Technologies Americas Corp over gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology rights.

The court's decision on 31 October (i) confirmed MACOM's continuing exclusive rights in certain GaN-on-Si RF fields under a 2010 license agreement between Nitronex LLC of Durham, NC, USA (acquired by MACOM for $26m in February 2014) and International Rectifier (acquired by Infineon in 2015); (ii) ruled that MACOM is likely to succeed in its claim that Infineon's purported termination of that agreement was improper and without effect; and (iii) granted MACOM's motion for a preliminary injunction prohibiting Infineon from engaging in activities inconsistent with the 2010 license agreement pending the court's final decision in the case.

When MACOM initiated the legal action in April, it alleged that Infineon had attempted to interfere with and usurp MACOM's rights under certain agreements between Nitronex and International Rectifier. "Nitronex and IR, and later, MACOM and IR, successfully collaborated for many years. Problems developed only after Infineon acquired IR and began to try to 'renegotiate' the Nitronex-IR agreements to reduce MACOM's rights," said MACOM's president & CEO John Croteau. "When MACOM declined to accede to Infineon's demands, Infineon concocted claims to interfere with our rights under the agreements," he alleged. "Infineon's behavior is clear validation that MACOM's GaN technology – the product of 15 years and over $100m in investment – is at the tipping point of market adoption, threatening large incumbents like Infineon," continued Croteau. "This has caused Infineon to engage in strong-arm tactics designed to retard, rather than accelerate, innovation," he concluded.

MACOM's suit against Infineon includes claims for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, declaratory judgment of contractual rights, and intentional interference with contract. Among other relief, MACOM asked the court to grant it declaratory and injunctive relief confirming its rights under the Nitronex-IR agreements and ordering Infineon to assign to MACOM several Nitronex GaN patents.

"We were forced to file this lawsuit to stand up to Infineon's bullying and anticompetitive behavior," states Croteau now. "We are gratified by the court's preliminary decision confirming that the GaN-on-Si rights granted to us under the 2010 license agreement remain in full force and effect and that Infineon acted improperly in trying to operate in our exclusive field of use," he adds. "We are firmly committed to vigorously litigating this case to its rightful conclusion. We continue on the path to providing GaN-on-Si technology that promises to improve network data service and cell coverage of 4G/LTE and 5G base-stations."

See related items:

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

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