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The Facts About the Spansion/Macronix Lawsuit

-- Blog by Tom Sparkman, Spansion SVP of Worldwide Sales

SUNNYVALE, California, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Many of you may be wondering what's next in the lawsuit battles between Spansion and Macronix. There's been more PR value for Macronix than anything valid with their claims.  In fact, we cannot find much that is threatening with their claims.

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Their December announcement is their latest attempt to counter the already pending investigation of Macronix at the ITC. That investigation, instituted at Spansion's request in August is now scheduled to go to trial in May of 2014, at least six months ahead of any possible trial resulting from the Macronix complaint.

Here are the facts:

  • Macronix has used legal loopholes to file with the ITC, claiming a partnership with a US company.  Macronix has no US-based design or manufacturing as generally required by the ITC.
  • Spansion filed our case six months ahead of Macronix, so our injunction will be in place long before Macronix's. One trial does not affect the other. 
  • Our case is built on successfully asserted patents. There are several patents cited in the Spansion complaint against Macronix that pertain to the structure, manufacturing and security of Flash memory cells. The IP is used in a wide variety of applications including networking equipment, automotive, industrial and consumer electronics.  
  • One example of our Flash IP at work is in applications, like Set Top Boxes, where Flash memory code needs to be secured from copying or alteration by hackers. Spansion pioneered features, such as advanced sector protection, that are incorporated in our "GL" Series Parallel Flash and "FL" Series Serial Flash products, which are widely used by our customers.  

Macronix must be losing confidence in their lawsuit filed in October with the Virginia District Court. They know they'll lose and had to do something different quickly.

We are in touch with each of our customers named in the complaints and helping them work through any issues caused for them. At the end of the day, this is what is important to us—taking care of our customers and making sure we protect the IP that is valuable to them.

 

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