Quarterhill Inc. announced on June 25 that it has acquired a portfolio of more than 85 patent assets from MagnaChip Semiconductor. USPTO records show that earlier in the week, MagnaChip also assigned a patent portfolio to a newly formed affiliate of Longhorn IP LLC. In addition to a number of US patents, including assets originating with SK Hynix, that transfer involved foreign counterparts in China, Japan, and South Korea.
Through the last three months of 2016, Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC (LSSI) filed six lawsuits in the Eastern District of Texas, asserting overlapping sets of a dozen former AMD patents against Micron Technology, Nanya Technology, Renesas Electronics, SMIC, Toshiba (together with Western Digital (SanDisk)), and UMC. The patents generally relate to different aspects of semiconductor fabrication, with LSSI targeting various integrated circuit devices. Each defendant responded, in part, with a motion to change venue (some for convenience, others for impropriety), and months later, after fully briefing these motions, LSSI has agreed to transfers of all but the case against Micron to the Northern District of California, citing the US Supreme Court’s recent TC Heartland decision on patent venue in some of its papers. A motion to transfer the Micron case to the District of Idaho remains pending.
Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC seems to be developing a pattern of filing a new lawsuit every two weeks, the latest defendant being SMIC (2:16-cv-01276). The patents at issue (5,973,372; 6,103,611; 6,388,330) are the same three asserted against UMC roughly two weeks ago. A total of nine patents, all generally related to various aspects of semiconductor fabrication, have been asserted in the campaign to date. Lone Star Silicon targets integrated circuit devices (ICs) made with SMIC’s 40nm process (the NPE providing as a “representative example” ICs manufactured for resale as Rockchip’s RK3028A SoC), made using its 28nm PS process (the “representative example” given being ICs manufactured for resale as Qualcomm’s MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 processor), or made with its 28nm HKMG process (no example being given).
Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC closed out October with yet another case filed in its semiconductor fabrication campaign, accusing UMC (2:16-cv-01216) of infringing two patents (6,103,611; 6,388,330) already asserted in the campaign as well as one new one (5,973,372). Lone Star targets integrated circuit devices (ICs) made with UMC’s 40nm process node (the NPE providing as “a representative example” ICs manufactured for resale as Xilinx’s XC6VLX130 Virtex-6 FPGA products) or made using its 28nm HLP, 28nm HPCU, 28nm HPCU+ and 28nm uLP process nodes (the “representative example” given being ICs manufactured for resale as Qualcomm’s MDM9625M LTE Modem). With the addition of the ‘372 patent, nine are now at issue, with Lone Star following a bit of a mix-and-match approach to their assertion.
Lone Star Silicon Innovations LLC, recently formed in Texas by a seasoned patent monetization professional, has kicked off a litigation campaign by filing a series of lawsuits against Micron (2:16-cv-01116) and Nanya (2:16-cv-01117) along with Toshiba, Western Digital, and its subsidiary SanDisk (2:16-cv-01170). The new complaints assert five former AMD patents (5,872,038; 6,097,061; 6,103,611; 6,326,231; 6,388,330) against Micron and Nanya, with the complaint against Micron asserting two more (5,912,188; 6,023,085). Toshiba, Western Digital, and SanDisk are accused of infringing the ‘188, ‘085, and ‘330 patents along with one other (RE39,518) that also originated with AMD. The patents generally relate to various aspects of semiconductor fabrication, and the products at issue are certain DRAM memory products made and sold by the defendants. Toshiba, Western Digital, and SanDisk are accused of divided infringement through the joint production of such memory chips.