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16 December 2016

MACOM announces final order of preliminary injunction against Infineon

MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for analog RF, microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic applications) says that the US District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles has entered a preliminary injunction order that bars Infineon Technologies Americas Corp from designing, developing, making, marketing or selling gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF products that use intellectual property rights previously owned by Nitronex and now exclusively licensed to MACOM in certain fields, including base-stations.

The order further requires Infineon to provide notice of the injunction to all its relevant affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, and customers.

Previously, on 31 October, the court issued a decision that (i) confirmed MACOM's continuing exclusive rights in certain GaN-on-Si RF fields under a 2010 license agreement between Nitronex LLC of Durham, NC, USA (acquired by MACOM for $26m in February 2014) and International Rectifier (acquired by Infineon in 2015); (ii) ruled that MACOM is likely to succeed in its claim that Infineon's purported termination of that agreement was improper and without effect; and (iii) granted MACOM's motion for a preliminary injunction prohibiting Infineon from engaging in activities inconsistent with the 2010 license agreement (pending the court's final decision, announced now).

When MACOM initiated the legal action in April, it alleged that Infineon had attempted to interfere with and usurp MACOM's rights under certain agreements between Nitronex and International Rectifier. "Nitronex and IR, and later, MACOM and IR, successfully collaborated for many years. Problems developed only after Infineon acquired IR and began to try to 'renegotiate' the Nitronex-IR agreements to reduce MACOM's rights," said MACOM's president & CEO John Croteau. "When MACOM declined to accede to Infineon's demands, Infineon concocted claims to interfere with our rights under the agreements," he alleged. "Infineon's behavior is clear validation that MACOM's GaN technology – the product of 15 years and over $100m in investment – is at the tipping point of market adoption, threatening large incumbents like Infineon," continued Croteau.

MACOM's suit against Infineon includes claims for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, declaratory judgment of contractual rights, and intentional interference with contract. Among other relief, MACOM asked the court to grant it declaratory and injunctive relief confirming its rights under the Nitronex-IR agreements and ordering Infineon to assign to MACOM several Nitronex GaN patents.

"Our US court system demands an extremely high standard of proof before it will consider issuing a preliminary injunction," says Croteau now about the court's final decision. "We are fully committed to vigorously litigating this case to its rightful conclusion and stand firmly against any company resorting to strong-arm tactics to usurp the rights of pioneers and innovators who move the industry and society forward with breakthrough technologies like GaN-on-Si in base-stations," he adds.

See related items:

US District Court grants MACOM preliminary injunction against Infineon on GaN-on-Si rights

MACOM sues Infineon over Nitronex GaN technology for 4G/LTE and 5G networks

Infineon completes acquisition of International Rectifier

MACOM acquires Nitronex for $26m

Tags: M/A-COM Nitronex GaN-on-Si RF power transistors Infineon International Rectifier

Visit: www.infineon.com

Visit: www.irf.com

Visit: www.macom.com/gan

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