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ITC Probes SanDisk NAND, NOR Chips Complaint

Posted by iTech - 2006-02-14

Flash memory card maker SanDisk Corp. on Friday said a patent infringement complaint it filed against STMicroelectronics NV is being investigated by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

"We will uphold our claims vigorously, but can't comment an ongoing litigation," said Carol Brown, a senior spokeswoman at STMicroelectronics, a Geneva-based maker of semiconductor and microelectronic products.

SanDisk said the ITC will investigate whether STMicroelectronics NOR and NAND flash memory chips violate several patents, and should be barred from import and sale in the United States. The SanDisk’s U.S. patents are 5,172,338 and 5,991,517. The investigation will review whether ST NAND flash memory chips infringe SanDisk’s U.S. patents 5,991,517 and 6,542,956.

The investigation announced Friday expands more patents to the case, and covers both NAND and NOR flash memory chips, where the previous complaint only included NAND flash memory chips.

In December, SanDisk filed a patent infringement suit against STMicroelectronics in the Northern District of California, after the ITC declined to review SanDisk's complaint, which was denied review by an administrative judge.

At the time, SanDisk said it believed the order incorrectly interpreted the claims of the patent and had a strong basis for appeal.

SanDisk is "looking forward to a speedy decision by the ITC." The company said it has developed a fundamental patent portfolio in the flash memory industry and possesses hundreds of patents covering all aspects of flash memory design.

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