STC.UNM (STC), the technology-transfer arm of the University of New Mexico (UNM), is charging Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC) and Samsung Electronics Company Limited with patent infringement of a University of New Mexico invention.
The invention significantly improves the capability of semiconductor manufacturers to fabricate next generation chips, STC claims.
STC, a non-profit corporation that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of New Mexico Regents, filed a complaint today requesting that the United States International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. commence an investigation into TSMC?s and Samsung?s importation of infringing products that constitute unfair methods of competition and unfair acts under the patent laws.
The STC patent pertains to lithographic methods that allow for the manufacture of smaller features in semiconductor devices. As critical dimensions within chips become smaller and smaller, in accordance with Moore?s Law, the patented technology has risen as a key solution to fabricate the next generation of devices.
According to Lisa Kuuttila, STC?s President & CEO, STC contacted the proposed respondents in 2007 with regards to the patented technology: "While STC remains reluctant to use the courts and administrative agencies to enforce our patent rights, we have no other recourse given our duty to protect the intellectual property of our inventors and the University."
STC is asking the Commission to issue an exclusion order which will prevent TSMC and Samsung from importing the infringing products into the United States.
Last year, STC filed a complaint against Toshiba Corporation, which STC dismissed once Toshiba became a licensee under the STC patents. Like the Toshiba litigation, STC filed this complaint to ensure that the interests of the University of New Mexico and its inventors are protected. Once again, STC's complaint identifies TSMC and Samsung as infringing STC's United States Patent No. 6,042,998, entitled "Method and Apparatus for Extending Spatial Frequencies in Photolithography Images."