Microsemi Files PoE Technology Suit Against AMI Semiconductor

June 27, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Microsemi Corp. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, PowerDsine Ltd., has filed a complaint against AMI Semiconductor, Inc., and AMI Semiconductor Belgium BVBA (collectively, "AMIS"), alleging that AMIS breached an undertaking not to develop and market products for the power-over-Ethernet ("PoE") market based upon confidential information provided to AMIS by PowerDsine. The complaint is pending before the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The complaint asks the Court to impose preliminary and permanent injunctions enjoining AMIS from, inter alia, engaging in any manufacturing, sale or assembly arrangement with Broadcom and any other seller or supplier of PoE products. The Complaint also seeks monetary damages from AMIS. On May 22, 2007, AMIS announced that "it was selected by a design and technology partner for two new highly-integrated power sourcing equipment (PSE) controllers (the BCM59101 and BCM59103 PSE controllers) for use in Broadcom’s Power over Ethernet (PoE) products." In the complaint PowerDsine also alleges that AMIS designs and/or manufactures PoE products, based on confidential and proprietary information that AMIS received from PowerDsine.

"PowerDsine, is a pioneer of PoE technology and was a major force that will make PoE technology a part of almost every Ethernet network," stated Steven G. Litchfield, Microsemi Executive Vice President and President of the Analog Mixed Signal Group. "PowerDsine has been conducting research and development activities with respect to PoE technology for almost ten years and we believe that it is responsible for most of the innovation in this space. PowerDsine, like Microsemi, is never happy to initiate litigation, however, we were forced into this situation in order to protect our rights."

Christine King, Chief Executive Officer of AMIS, responded, "We are investigating the claims. However, based on information known to us at this time, we believe that the complaint is without merit and we plan to vigorously defend ourselves."