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AMD Gets Sued, Richtek Demands Import Ban
TaksonIC.com    Issue Date: [2010-01-05]   Browse Times: [2414]
Even though Intel was the main target of legal battles during the past year, it seems that its long-time rival, AMD, was sued itself in the 11th hour of 2009. The plaintiff, in this case, is Richtek Technology Corp. The chip designer filed a lawsuit against Advanced Micro Devices and four other companies, through which it claims that all the accused parties infringed three of its patents. The case is being handled by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), but Richtek also filed a similar case with the district court of California.
 
The lawsuit is set against AMD, uPI Semiconductor Corp., Sapphire Technology Ltd., Diamond Multimedia Inc. and XFX Technology Inc. Richtek says that all five of these companies have manufactured and/or are manufacturing products that violate three of its patents, namely those numbered 7,315,190, 6,414,470 and 7,132,717. These patents are for a PWM IC controller, a multi-phase DC-to-DC converter and a power metal oxide semiconductor transistor layout.
The case filed at the International Trade Commission has Richtek demanding that an import ban be placed on the products that allegedly misuse its trade secrets. Naturally, the chip designer also wants the court to issue a cease-and-desist order, which would prevent the five companies from further employing the technology. This would imply that entire product lines, such as the Radeon HD 4000 series graphics cards, be discontinued.
Concerning the lawsuit filed with the Californian court, Richtek did not disclose many details. All that is known is that the plaintiff seeks an injunction and monetary damages. The public relation manager, Robyn Kao, from AMD's Taiwan Branch, also refused to comment and representatives from the other companies were not immediately available.
On the other hand, Chris Yu, a spokesman at uPI Semiconductor, stated that the company did not infringe on any of Richtek's patents and that the lawsuit posed no threat.
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