Posts Tagged: "semiconductors"

CHIPS and Science Act Neglects the Importance of IP Rights in Encouraging American Innovators

On August 9, President Joe Biden signed into law the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act, enacting a major legislative package that will provide $280 billion in federal funding to encourage the domestic production of semiconductor products in the United States as well as fund research and development projects in advanced technological fields like quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Although the 1,000+ page bill establishes massive investments into several areas of developing technologies, it focuses very little on the intellectual property rights that are critical for protecting the new technologies that would be developed through federally funded projects.

Congress focuses on chip supply chains to promote competitiveness, national security

The United States’ share of global semiconductor manufacturing capacity has dropped from 37 percent in 1990 down to 12 percent in 2021. Congress now seeks to secure chip supply chains to promote both economic competitiveness as well as U.S. national security.

The United States Must Step Up Its Support for R&D, Education

History is often defined by its most important technology, giving us eras such as the Bronze Age and the Industrial Revolution. Given their importance, the modern era may go down as the Semiconductor Age. But unless the United States begins making needed investments in this and other key technologies, the future may wind up being the Age of China. It is hard to overstate the importance of semiconductors. The most sophisticated of these computer chips help to control computers, airplanes, and even modern weapons systems. Less sophisticated versions are still critical components of our daily lives and power automobiles, TVs and home appliances. From an economic and national security standpoint, controlling our supply of semiconductors should be essential. Yet, U.S. companies have spent decades outsourcing and consolidating the manufacturing of this essential technology to other countries.         

Ninth Circuit Told They Should Stay Judge Koh’s Qualcomm Injunction

On July 15, retired Federal Circuit Chief Judge Paul Michel filed an amicus brief in Qualcomm’s appeal of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) antitrust case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The following day, the United States government filed a statement of interest with the appellate court as well. Both parties filed in support of Qualcomm’s request for a partial stay of an injunction handed down this May in the Northern District of California, which requires Qualcomm to license its standard essential patents (SEPs) to modem-chip suppliers after determining that the company’s “no license, no chips” policy violated U.S. antitrust law.

Qualcomm Reaches Settlement With Taiwan Free Trade Commission Wiping Out Most of $773M Antitrust Penalty

On Thursday, August 9th, San Diego, CA-based semiconductor developer Qualcomm Inc. announced that it reached a mutually agreed settlement with the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission (TFTC) which greatly reduces the financial penalty assessed to Qualcomm by the TFTC for antitrust issues. Although the TFTC will retain about $93 million USD in fines which have been paid by Qualcomm through July, the settlement eliminates the remainder of the original fine valued at $773 million USD and issued by Taiwan’s fair trade regulator last October.

ITC Institutes 337 Complaint Accusing Toyota Vehicles of Infringing Infotainment Chip Patents

On Thursday, June 7th, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) announced that it was instituting a Section 337 patent infringement investigation of automobile infotainment systems being imported into the U.S. based on infringement claims asserted by major semiconductor maker Broadcom. Broadcom is alleging that a group of Japanese automakers and tech companies, including Toyota, Panasonic and Denso Ten, over the sale of head units, rear seat entertainment units, units for displaying information or entertainment, as well as cameras and other processing components used in those units and the automobiles containing such units.

Manufacturing Firms and Organizations File Briefs in Oil States

Doubtless there are some manufacturing firms, such as Telebrands, who are great endorsers of inter partes review (IPR) proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and how that agency has found in favor of copy-cats even as federal courts have repeatedly issued injunctions and found in favor of the inventor of an award winning toy (see here and here).But the manufacturing sector did not all line up in favor of Greene’s Energy Group, although most did. Nevertheless, given that manufacturing firms tend to license patents and do not necessarily develop their own technologies, it is informative to see how this sector feels that the Supreme Court should decide Oil States.

Broadcom files patent suits against LG, Vizio, others over smart TVs, video processing semiconductors

Broadcom Ltd. filed a series of six lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleging the infringement of a series of patents covering semiconductor technologies. The patent lawsuits target firms making and selling consumer audiovisual products or other articles which utilize system on a chip (SoC) semiconductors and similar processing equipment… Although most of the Broadcom suits assert multiple patents, there is only one patent asserted in each case: U.S. Patent No. 7,310,104, titled Graphics Display System with Anti-Flutter Filtering and Vertical Scaling Feature.

Texas Instruments maintains pace of innovation, focusing on signals and semiconductor devices

Texas Instruments has earned 825 U.S. patents through most of 2015, putting it on pace to perhaps slightly eclipse its 2014 totals. As the text cluster posted here shows our readers, much of TI’s recent R&D has focused on control signals, input signals and semiconductor devices… Short-range, low-power body area networks developed for medical purposes were featured by a pair of patent applications filed recently by Texas Instruments, including the innovation described within U.S. Patent Application No. 20150349839, entitled Ultra Wideband Modulation for Body Area Networks. It would protect a symbol modulation system having a symbol mapper configured to determine a time within a predetermined symbol transmission interval at which a transmission representative of the symbol will occur and then generate a single guard interval within the symbol transmission interval and positioned to terminate the symbol transmission interval. This body area network innovation establishes a physical layer which allows a receiver to identify and correct received data errors caused by channel issues. Physical layers in body area networks are also improved by the innovation discussed within U.S. Patent Application No. 20150350387, which is titled PHY Layer Options for Body Area Network (BAN) Devices. It claims a physical (PHY) layer method that involves performing body area network operations in a limited multipath environment using M-ary pre-shared keys (PSK), differential M-ary PSK or rotated differential M-ary PSK, and then transmitting BAN packets at a constant symbol rate. The use of physical layers to support BAN networking enables smarter medical devices, such as digital bandages that can measure and wirelessly transmit vital signs or pacemakers which can be fine-tuned after implantation.

Pace of global innovation rises at slowest rate since 2009 global recession

Global innovation continued to climb during 2014 but at the slowest pace seen since the global economic recession hit in 2009. The Reuters report didn’t draw any specific conclusions as to why the innovation slowdown had occurred but did draw a correlation between published scientific literature and patenting activities, noting that the former typically precedes the latter by three to five years. As graphs published in the Reuters study clearly show, scientific literature publications in 12 industries increased between 2008 and 2009 at a slower rate than prior years, mirroring the patenting slowdown experienced this year. Troublingly, a steep drop in published scientific literature was experienced in 2010, so if this model holds we may see a reduction in global patenting activity when the annual Reuters innovation study comes out next year.

Hitachi’s latest patent activity reveals automotive tech and alternative energy focus

In 2014, Hitachi earned a total of 908 patent grants from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the 38th-largest total of U.S. patents issued to any single entity. When the patent activities of its subsidiaries are taken into account, however, the entire Hitachi Group earned 2,108 U.S. patent grants during 2014, according to our research using Innography patent analytics. As with most of the high tech Companies We Follow, we’re noticing a lot of innovation in control units and data storage devices, as reflected by our research using Innography search tools and represented in the text cluster diagram shown to the right. Hitachi has a very strong patent portfolio in automotive battery tech and even owns more patents in this field than Toyota.

Toshiba Patents: From Memory Devices to Smarter Retail Stores and Seawater Desalination

We share a trio of patent applications discussing improvements to memory devices, especially flash memory devices. A number of intriguing technologies which we share below are also related to brick and mortar retail environments, including one patent application discussing a method of providing entertainment content to retail workers to keep them more productive. Toshiba holds a very robust patent portfolio, and we also explored some patents which have been issued to the company within the past few weeks. Two patents related to three-dimensional memory cell stacks for better semiconductor memory devices are explored. Two other patents we share protect water treatment technologies, including one for capturing more copper precipitate from wastewater while creating less sludge. We also discuss a couple of patents focused on printing technologies, including an apparatus and system for recycling printed sheets by removing images.

Texas Instruments Seeks Patent on Indoor Device Location

We’ve chosen for our featured patent application an interesting development that may finally make practical indoor mapping applications for electronic device owners feasible. This system, developed by Texas Instruments, would use wireless local access network analysis of device motion within a building instead of satellite-based systems to provide an exact location of a device user. Other patent applications have been filed by TI to protect systems of determining accurate touch commands on a multi-touch screen surface, as well as a plastic-packaged semiconductor device that is lightweight and better protected against electrical shorts. The patents issued by the USPTO to any corporation are an important indicator of that company’s strength in intellectual property, and we have an intriguing assortment of patents assigned to Texas Instruments recently. One issued patent focuses on better systems of video processing to prevent digital video from developing a flicker effect. Another patent protects a system of improving digital navigation programs that respond better to a device’s actual state within a moving vehicle. We’ve also taken a look at one patent that provides adaptive forms of partitioning system resources within an electronic device.

Intel Patents: Computers, Cameras, Security and Medical Devices

As you might expect, a number of recently issued patents to Intel pertain to a series of novel computer improvements, which include but are not limited to (1) more efficient energy use in computing systems using multi-core processors, and (2) a system of aiding TCP-based communications when a processor enters sleep mode. Other issued patents show the widespread nature of Intel’s semiconductor technologies. In one patent the technology is used to improve security measures for video game servers to protect against cheaters or hackers who would manipulate the game environment. Interestingly, Intel also earned the right to protect a method of coating medical devices with biocompatible substances to reduce the risk of infection in patients. Another issued patent to Intel also improves security measures for mobile devices by allowing the device to determine a user is unauthorized based on local data.