STMicroelectronics requests ITC investigation of InvenSense

STMicroelectronics yesterday filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC). The complaint requests that the ITC initiate an investigation into the alleged infringement of five ST patents covering all of InvenSense, Inc.’s MEMS device offerings, as well as products from two of InvenSense’s customers: Black and Decker, Inc. and Roku, Inc. ST has requested that the ITC issue an order excluding InvenSense’s infringing gyroscopes and accelerometers, as well its customers’ products that include those InvenSense devices, from importation into the United States.

This is the second patent lawsuit that ST has brought against InvenSense. In May 2012, ST filed a patent infringement lawsuit against InvenSense in the Northern District of California, alleging infringement of nine ST patents and seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages. InvenSense requested a stay of litigation, which the district court granted on February 27, 2013. According to the court’s order, the case was stayed until the United States Patent Office completed its reexamination process and ST completed any appeals of the Patent Offices findings, at which time the parties were to provide the court with a status report on the re-examination.

“Historically, InvenSense developed the first integrated dual-axis MEMS gyroscope for consumer electronics applications, and by 2006, its novel applications in consumer electronics products created very significant customer demand for similar products,” InvenSense spokesperson said, in an official press release, “ST did not enter the consumer MEMS gyroscope market until 2008, when it tried to catch up to InvenSense and target the growing consumer electronics market. “

"While we welcome fair competition, ST cannot tolerate continued infringement of our strong and unique patent portfolio, which is the result of more than 15 years of intensive R&D efforts and substantial investment, to bring competitive and innovative solutions to customers worldwide," said Bob Krysiak, President and Chief Executive Officer of STMicroelectronics.

Historically, STMicroelectronics said in its official press release, over 89% of reexamined patents are confirmed upon ex parte reexamination.

STMicroelectronics itself came under fire in 2007, when SanDisk claimed patent infringement over three different NAND flash patents. The district court sided with STMicroelectronics, even after SanDisk’s appeal.

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