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新帝NAND Flash關鍵808專利的身世之謎

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科技產業資訊室 - David 發表於 2008年5月20日

新聞:(2008年4月30日電子時報-意法半途殺出! 新帝NAND Flash專利網驚見破洞‧新帝臨時撤銷關鍵808專利 台廠喜迎天上掉下來禮物)。新帝(SanDisk)對NAND Flash相關廠商揮下的侵權大刀,日前戰局出現重大變化,受到意法半導體(STMicroelectronics)半途殺出的影響,新帝已正式撤銷關鍵808專利控訴!根據台廠透露,808專利為新帝創辦人Eli Harari所發明,然Eli Harari當時所任職的WSI公司,後來被意法半導體收購,目前意法也在積極爭取808專利,在美國國際貿易委員會(ITC)的要求下,新帝已終止808專利訴訟,台廠視此舉為天上掉下來的禮物,認為離勝利更近一步。

表一、SanDisk美國相關訴訟

SanDisk

ITC

Western District of Wisconsin

Western District of Wisconsin

專利

US6,426,893;

US6,763,424;

US5,719,808;

US6,947,332;

US7,137,011

US6,426,893;

US6,763,424;

US5,719,808;

US6,947,332;

US7,137,011

US6,149,316

US6,757,842

 

被告家數

25家

24家

15家

被告

ACP-EP Memory, A-Data, Apacer, Behavior Computer (d/b/a Emprex), Buffalo, Chipsbank, Corsair Memory, Dane-Elec, Edge, Imation/Memorex, Interactive Media (d/b/aKanguru), Kaser, Kingston, LG Electronics, Phison Electronics, PNY, PQI, Silicon Motion, Skymedi, Transcend, TSR (d/b/a T.One), USBest, Verbatim, Welldone Company, and Zotek/Zodata (d/b/a Huke).

ACP-EP Memory, A-Data, Apacer, Behavior Computer (d/b/a Emprex), Buffalo, Chipsbank, Corsair Memory, Dane-Elec, Edge, Imation/Memorex, Interactive Media (d/b/aKanguru), Kaser, Kingston, LG Electronics, Phison Electronics, PNY, PQI, Silicon Motion, Skymedi, Transcend, TSR (d/b/a T.One), USBest, Verbatim, Welldone Company, and Zotek/Zodata (d/b/a Huke).

A-Data, Apacer, Behavior Computer (d/b/a Emprex), Buffalo, Dane-Elec, Kingston, Phison Electronics, PQI, PNY, Skymedi, Silicon Motion, Transcend, USBest, Verbatim, and Zotek/Zodata (d/b/a Huke).

Source: http://forums.legitreviews.com/about12239.html,科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室,2008/04。

表二、SanDisk創辦人Eliyahou Harari基本簡介

Dr. Harari is the the founder of SanDisk, has served as Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of SanDisk since June 1988. He was appointed Chairman of the Board in June 2006. Dr. Harari also served as President from June 1998 to June 2006. Dr. Harari founded Waferscale Integration, Inc., a privately held semiconductor company, in 1983 and was its President and Chief Executive Officer from 1983 to 1986, and Chairman and Chief Technical Officer from 1986 to 1988. From 1973 to 1983, Dr. Harari held various management positions with Honeywell Inc., Intel Corporation and Hughes Microelectronics Ltd. Dr. Harari holds a Ph.D. in Solid State Sciences from PrincetonUniversity and has more than 100 patents issued in the field of non-volatile memories and storage systems.

Source: http://www.reuter.com/,科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室,2008/04。

表三、意法半導體(STMicroelectronics)併購Waferscale Integration之新聞稿

STMicroelectronics Completes Acquisition of Waferscale Integration, Inc.

Complementary portfolio of innovative Flash-based Programmable System Devices reinforces ST's strategy in Memory Systems

Geneva, September 20, 2000. STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM) today announced that it has completed the acquisition, effective September 18, 2000, of Waferscale Integration, Inc. (WSI), the Fremont, California, based leader in Programmable System Devices (PSDs). In addition to the acquisition, which was announced last July, ST has obtained the product portfolio, intellectual property, know-how and technologies developed by WSI in the field of Non-Volatile memories and memory systems.

PWSI's operations will continue to be headquartered in the Silicon Valley area, but will now function as a fully-fledged operational Business Unit within STMicroelectronics' Memory Products Group.

"We had been working with WSI as a design and manufacturing partner for several years and, the integration of WSI's human and intellectual resources into ST's structure will result in a seamless transition for WSI's fast-growing customer base while exploiting the synergistic potential for further development of WSI's innovative products," said Carlo Bozotti, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of ST's Memory Products Group.

"ST's world-class strengths in manufacturing, products support and development will not only result in enhanced service to our current customer base, but also make PSDs attractive to new high volume customers," noted Reza Kazerounian, manager of the new Business Unit within STMicroelectronics.

The addition of WSI's IP portfolio and its design, marketing, application and software teams to ST's existing worldwide resources reinforces the Company's strengths in Memory Systems, where it already offers numerous application-specific memory architectures, as well as complementing its established strengths in the field of standard memories.

Source: http://www.st.com/,科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室,2008/04。

評析:

有幾個背景資訊,我們先來整理一下。

  • 首先去年(2007年)10月,SanDisk分別在美國ITC(國際貿易委員會)[共一案]與西威斯康辛聯邦地方法院(Western District of Wisconsin)[共二案]控告之25家、24家與15家記憶卡與晶片製造商如表一所示。
  • SanDisk創辦人Eliyahou Harari基本簡介如表二所示。
  • 意法半導體(STMicroelectronics)2000年所併購公司WSI(Waferscale Integration)新聞稿如表三所示。
  • WSI被併購後,所轉讓之56件美國專利如表四所示,其中US4,998,220主要發明人為Eliyahou Harari。
  • 以SanDisk創辦人Eliyahou Harari為發明人之專利共計157件,完整專利列表與原專利權人如表五所示。
  • 關鍵專利US5,719,808基本資料與前案US5,418,752本資料如表六所示。
  • 關鍵專利US5,719,808專利家族如表七所示。
  • 1999年10月5日SanDisk併購Invox Technology Inc, 取得45件美國專利。
  • 2006年1月13日SanDisk併購Matrix Semiconductor Inc.取得267件美國專利。
  • 2006年11月19日SanDisk併購Msystems Ltd.取得21件美國專利如表八所示。
  • 到2008年4月30日止,SanDisk共有883件美國核准專利。


由於意法半導體(STMicroelectronics)2000年所併購之Waferscale Integration也是Eliyahou Harari所創立,並且Eliyahou Harari先後擔任該公司執行長(CEO)與研發長(CTO),因此意法半導體主張擁有US5,719,808似乎有點道理。後續待觀察意法半導體與SanDisk,針對US5,719,808與其衍生出的專利之所有權官司發展。

雖然,SanDisk主動撤銷US5,719,808控訴,但是以SanDisk擁有883件美國核准專利實力看,台廠針對後續訴訟發展仍須戰戰兢兢。然而不論如何,聯合次要敵人打擊主要敵人,先打贏(撐過)這一仗是第一步。

(1104字;表3)

參考資料:

  1. 連于慧(2008)。意法半途殺出!新帝NAND Flash專利網驚見破洞。電子時報。上網日期:2008年4月30日,取自:http://www.digitimes.com.tw/n/article.asp?id=0000089679_B9Q8T17ORP6OYGAL9LUJN

 
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