Infineon Wins Most of Appeals Case Over Qimonda Patents Rights

Infineon Technologies AG, Europe’s second-biggest chipmaker, won an appeals court ruling saying it still holds license rights to patents owned by insolvent Qimonda AG.

The Munich Higher Regional Court today dismissed the majority of arguments brought by Qimonda insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe. The judges rejected his claim that the patent rights ended under German insolvency rules, court spokesman Wilhelm Schneider said in an e-mailed statement.

Infineon argued in a lower court that the suit covers thousands of Qimonda patents and that the question of whether it still has rights to that portfolio is key to Infineon’s business.

Infineon completed an initial public offering of Qimonda, its former unit, in August 2006 to reduce its dependence on businesses with volatile demand and prices. Qimonda filed for insolvency in 2009 after memory-chip prices fell.

Today’s case is part of a wider dispute between Jaffe and Infineon. In a separate suit still pending in Munich, Jaffe is seeking 3.35 billion euros ($4.4 billion) he says is owed to Qimonda because of an incomplete filing when Infineon transferred its memory business to a shell company that became Qimonda. As part of that transaction, the patents were also transferred to Qimonda and licensed back to Infineon.

Jaffe has already appealed today’s ruling, Sebastian Brunner, his spokesman, said by phone.

Infineon is “delighted” that a second panel of judges has backed its legal argument, said Kay Laudien, company spokesman.

Infineon shares jumped 2.6 percent on the news, paring earlier losses. The shares closed at 7.24 euros, up 0.2 percent, in Frankfurt trading.

Today’s case is OLG Muenchen, 6 U 541/12.

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