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Patent battle resumes for Samsung, Spansion

Posted: 11 Jun 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memory patent  restructuring  patent litigation  flash memory 

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd and bankrupt memory vendor Spansion LLC appear set to resume litigation over memory patents after a judge rejected a Rs.342.91 crore ($70 million) settlement between the two.

A spokesperson for Spansion said Tuesday that the company plans to resume patent infringement complaints against Samsung with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and in the U.S. District Court in Delaware following the rejection of the settlement, which occured June 2.

The Wall Street Journal reported in an online story Tuesday that Judge Kevin J. Carey ruled that the Rs.342.91 crore ($70 million) settlement offer was unfair to Spansion's estate and its creditors.

Samsung filed a motion Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware saying that Spansion wants to resume the litigation following the rejection of the settlement. Samsung's motion requests relief from an automatic stay to pursue counterclaims against Spansion, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 1.

The Spansion spokesperson said in an emailed statement that the company does not anticipate that the Samsung patent litigation will affect its restructuring progress. The company has always excluded any potential proceeds from the settlement with Samsung in its current cash balance statements, the spokesperson said.

In April, Spansion announced that it had reached a settlement with Samsung that involved the exchanged of the rights to the companies' patent portfolios in the form of licences and covenants subject to a confidential settlement agreement. The settlement supposedly ended the patent disputes between the two companies.

Spansion last November filed two separate patent infringement complaints against Samsung with the ITC and in the U.S. District Court in Delaware seeking the exclusion from the U.S. market of MP3 players, cell phones, digital cameras and other consumer electronic devices containing Samsung's flash memory components.

-Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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