Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Micron Provides Statement on Fujian Province Patent Litigation

Memory chip parts of U.S. memory chip maker Micron Technology are Micron Provides Statement on Fujian Province Patent Litigation
Nellie Chapman | 07 July, 2018, 02:45

Micron Technology Inc on Thursday played down the likely impact on its business of a temporary Chinese ban on some chip sales but said it would appeal a decision that has added to U.S.

UMC had filed patent infringement lawsuit against Micron in the mainland China courts in January 2018.

Micron said that it hasn't been issued with an injunction from the Chinese court and would not be commenting further until it has received and reviewed the relevant documents.

Micron said the injunction relates to certain of its Crucial and Ballistix-branded memory modules and solid state drives sold in China. It predicted this will not affect its outlook for the August-ending fiscal Q4 of $8 billion to $8.4 billion.

UMC shares rose more than 3 per cent in early trading on Wednesday. Last December, Micron filed a lawsuit against UMC in the Northern District Court of California of the United States, claiming that UMC violated intellectual property rights by copying its memory patents and trade secrets. This time, though, it's in court for a different reason: It has accused USA rival Micron of infringing its patents on memory technology, and has been granted an early win in the form of a temporary injunction against the company.

The ban comes amid an escalating trade spat between Washington and Beijing that is spurring China to accelerate its moves to develop domestic chipmakers in order to reduce its heavy reliance on US firms like Micron and Qualcomm, another USA -based chip maker.

It also comes as China investigates Micron and its South Korean rivals over price-fixing allegations, amid a surge in prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips.

The U.S. case brought by Micron sprang out of a criminal indictment in August of 2017 in Taiwan brought against UMC as well as one of its partners Fujian Jinhua Integrated.

"I think that China is using this case as a payback against the USA", said Ho in an interview with the Taiwan branch of New York-based broadcaster New Tang Dynasty Television.

Meanwhile, Micron's ban could put pressure on Chinese companies and thus hike up the price on some domestic-made chips, said Wang Yanhui, secretary general of China Mobile Alliance, in an interview with Chinese business newspaper 21st-Century Business Herald.

It also resells flash memory products purchased from other suppliers. The ban applies to its subsidiaries Micron Semiconductor (Xi'an) Co Ltd and Micron Semiconductor (Shanghai) Co Ltd.

Micron claimed ignorance about the ruling, saying it had not seen any paperwork from the Chinese court.