MACOM Announces Preliminary Injunction against Infineon

December 19, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. announced that the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles has entered a preliminary injunction order that, among other things, bars Infineon Technologies Americas Corp. from designing, developing, making, marketing, or selling Gallium Nitride-on-Silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF products that use intellectual property rights previously owned by Nitronex and now exclusively licensed to MACOM in certain fields, including basestations.

In a written statement, Infineon observed: "The lawsuit between Infineon Technologies AG, its subsidiary Infineon Technologies Americas Corp., and Macom Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc., is still in its early stages. The court has made no decision on the merits. Macom has neither won the case nor is settlement imminent. Infineon believes that this most-recent complaint from Macom is flawed and will move to have it dismissed this week.”

John Croteau, President and Chief Executive Officer of MACOM asserted: “Our U.S. court system demands an extremely high standard of proof before it will consider issuing a preliminary injunction. By upholding MACOM’s exclusive IP rights and forcing Infineon to inform customers, employees and subsidiaries that it is no longer able to design, develop or market GaN-on-Si RF products that practice the Nitronex IP in MACOM’s exclusive field, we believe that the court is sending a very clear message.

“As we have stated in the past, we are fully committed to vigorously litigating this case to its rightful conclusion and stand firmly against any company resorting to strong-arm tactics to usurp the rights of pioneers and innovators who move the industry and society forward with breakthrough technologies like GaN-on-Si in basestations,” Croteau concluded.

Infineon’s corrective statement continued: “Macom’s dispute with Infineon originates from irreconcilable business philosophies. While Infineon generally welcomes competition and has entered into license agreements with many of its competitors allowing broad freedom to operate, Macom prefers exclusion. However, whether Macom or Infineon ultimately prevails in this lawsuit, the outcome should determine whether Macom continues to be licensed to certain Infineon Americas patents. Infineon Americas owns the patents at issue and has the rights it needs for its own operations.

“Macom had been willfully infringing patents owned by Infineon Americas by operating outside the scope of a license agreement. Macom admitted to the infringement but rejected Infineon America’s offer to broaden the license agreement to cover the infringement. Infineon Americas therefore terminated Macom's license in March 2016. Macom then filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. While no decision has been made on the merits, the court dismissed claims in Macom's second attempt at a complaint in October 2016 (Macom had voluntarily amended its first one). Macom has recently filed a third version. Infineon believes that the third complaint is still flawed and will move to dismiss this week. Once the lawsuit eventually proceeds, Infineon expects a decision within 1-2 years.”