In May, roughly two weeks before the US Supreme Court issued its TC Heartland decision on proper venue in patent cases, individual inventor Uri Cohen sued Apple, Huawei, and TSMC in a single Eastern District of Texas case alleging infringement of four semiconductor fabrication patents. This past week Cohen filed an amended complaint that dropped Apple and the US subsidiary of TSMC (both without prejudice) from the suit. The same day, Applied Materials (3:17-cv-04990) and TSMC (5:17-cv-05001) filed separate actions in the Northern District of California, each seeking declaratory judgment of non-infringement of the four patents that Cohen asserted in Texas. The complaints note that Cohen’s infringement allegations target TSMC’s use of the Applied Materials Endura Volta system to form certain metal interconnects in chips purportedly incorporated into smartphones sold by Apple and Huawei (and others). TSMC’s complaint announces its intention to file a motion to dismiss for improper venue in Texas.
An individual inventor has filed suit against Apple, Huawei, and TSMC, alleging that the three companies have infringed four patents (6,518,668; 6,924,226; 7,199,052; 7,282,445) generally related to semiconductor fabrication (1:17-cv-00189). In a single complaint filed in the Eastern District of Texas, plaintiff Uri Cohen accuses TSMC of infringement for manufacturing certain mobile Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) for Apple and Huawei using its 16nm and 20nm processes, with Apple and Huawei alleged to infringe through the provision of smartphones incorporating those SoCs.