Analog Devices Inc., the maker of chips used in cars and consumer electronics, won a ruling in a U.S. International Trade Commission case filed by Dover Corp.’s Knowles Electronics over microphones in digital devices.
ITC Judge Robert Rogers in Washington found that two Knowles patents were invalid, according to a notice posted today on the agency’s website. His finding that Norwood, Massachusetts-based Analog Devices didn’t violate Knowles’s patent rights is subject to review by the six-member commission.
Each company has accused the other of infringing patents related to microphones that are made on silicon chips, which render them smaller than traditional microphones and provide higher-quality recording. The Knowles patents are for a type of protective packaging that reduces costs and eases the assembly of devices such as mobile phones, media recorders and computers.
Knowles officials said they will ask the commission to review the finding.
“Despite this ruling, Knowles has and will continue to develop innovative solutions for our customers,” Knowles General Manager Mike Adell said in a statement. “Protection of these solutions and intellectual property from unlawful infringement is of great importance to our business, and we will pursue all available remedies in order to do so.”
Unit Sales Rise
The unit that includes Knowles products reported $1 billion in sales in the first nine months, up 38 percent from the year-earlier period, Downers Grove, Illinois-based Dover reported Oct. 22. Product sales were up “a little bit better than 20 percent,” Chief Executive Officer Robert Livingston said in a call with investors.
Rogers is scheduled to release his findings in the ADI case against Knowles on Jan. 4.
The Knowles case is in the Matter of Silicon Microphone Packages, 337-695, and the ADI case is in the Matter of MEMS Devices, 337-700, both U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).