U.S. launches probe into alleged patent infringement by MediaTek

2017/03/18 16:18:59
U.S. launches probe into alleged patent infringement by MediaTek

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to launch an investigation into a patent infringement allegation against Taiwan-based integrated circuit designer MediaTek Inc. (聯發科) and three other companies.

In a statement posted on the USITC website Friday, the commission said that the probe has been instituted following a request by California-headquartered Advanced Micro Device Inc. (AMD), which has accused the four companies of infringing upon three of its patents on chips used in certain graphics systems and components.

The products at issue include TVs, smartphones, tablet computers, wearable devices, graphics processors, and other consumer electronics products, the USITC said.

Along with MediaTek, the three other firms accused by AMD are LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea, U.S.-based VIZIO Inc. and U.S-based Sigma Designs Inc., according to the statement.

MediaTek said that the legal proceedings have already begun, so it declined to comment on the matter. But the largest IC designer in Taiwan said that the USITC's move has imposed little impact on its day-to-day operations.

AMD has requested that the USITC issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order to bar the four accused firms from importing and selling the products in question in the U.S. market.

The USITC emphasized that despite the move to start the probe, the commission has made no decision on the merits of the case.

The commission added that in 45 days after institution of the investigation, the commission will set a target date for completing the investigation.

Meanwhile, a research note released by market research firm IC Insights shows that Taiwan ranked as the second-largest integrated circuit designer in the world in 2016, lagging only behind the United States.

IC Insights said that Taiwan took an 18 percent share of the total sales posted by IC design houses in the global market in 2016, trailing the U.S., which grasped a 53 percent share.

Taiwan houses a group of IC designers, including MediaTek, which specializes in smartphone chip development but has now become keen on entering other areas such as automotive electronics, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

China came in third with a 10 percent share, ahead of Europe and Japan, which grasped 1 percent and less than 1 percent, respectively, the research report shows.

(By Jackson Chang and Frances Huang)
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