Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Sues Zond Over Patents

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which agreed to build computer chips for Intel Corp., filed a pre-emptive lawsuit to block patent licensor Zond LLC from claiming infringement on six U.S. patents for microchip-making.

The Hsinchu, Taiwan-based chipmaker contends Zond, based in Dover, Delaware, is using basic, “one size fits all” patents to garner licensing fees and settlements “that bear no reasonable relation to the value, if any” to the patents.

The Taiwanese firm said it sued “to protect itself from the most recent recurring plague on this country’s patent system,” where a company sues “for the purpose of obtaining settlement money to which it is not entitled,” according to papers filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

The technology in dispute involves ways of depositing thin films of various materials in integrated circuit processing.

Roman Chistyakov of Andover, Massachusetts, the president and co-founder of Zond, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the lawsuit.

Intel is trying to expand into the market for tablet chips, and last month said Taiwan Semiconductor would make some of the products used in low-cost tablet computers

The case is TSMC Technology Inc. v. Zond LLC, 14-cv-00721, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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