Texas Instruments Reaches Settlement with Sharp, Fujitsu
DALLAS (AP) _ Texas Instruments Inc. settled patent infringement disputes with Sharp Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd., which include patent licenses with the two Japanese companies, officials said Friday.
The patents licensed to Sharp and Fujitsu by Texas Instruments include the dynamic random access memory (DRAM) patents at issue in an International Trade Commission inquiry and an infringement lawsuit filed by Texas Instruments.
″We are pleased that we have reached agreement with Sharp and Fujitsu,″ said Dick Agnich, Texas Instruments general counsel. ″We believe that the cross licenses are recognition of the great value that TI and these Japanese companies place on intellectual property.
″In addition, they reflect the respect each of us has for the others’ technological contributions,″ he said. ″We look forward to continued good working relationships with each of these distinguished companies.″
Last year, the Dallas-based semiconductor manufacturer announced it was suing eight Japanese and one Korean company for alleged patent infringement, even though those companies were TI customers.
Attorneys filed joint motions for TI and Sharp and TI and Fujitsu with the ITC, pursuant to the settlements, to end the government’s probe as it applies to Sharp and Fujitsu.
Chief Administrative Law Judge Janet Saxon granted both motions. But they are subject to a 30-day review by the federal trade agency before becoming final.
TI, in return for licensing its patents for computer memory and processing chips to the parties, receives licenses under the semiconductor patents of Sharp and Fujitsu and significant royalty payments to be paid during the license terms, which expire at the end of 1990.
The Texas-based company, in addition to fixed royalty payments, will receive per unit royalties based on use of its U.S. DRAM patents by each of the companies. TI is not releasing the amount of royalty payments involved, company spokesman Stan Victor said Friday.
The settlement agreement terms state that Sharp and Fujitsu are to be dismissed from the ITC investigation and the federal suit.
The Japanese government must approve the patent license agreement between TI and Fujitsu. The agreement between TI and Sharp has already been approved, officials said.
Officials of TI said the federal suit and continuing ITC investigation now focuses on six Japanese and one Korean semiconductor manufacturer.