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晶圓 CMP 製程專利侵權, Semcon Tech 控告 Intel 、 IBM 、 Micron 、三星等公司

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科技產業資訊室 (iKnow) - SYL 發表於 2012年5月7日

2012 年 4 月 27 日,美國德州一家公司 Semcon Tech LLC (下稱 Semcon ) ,向美國德拉瓦州聯邦地院提告,控告 Intel 、 IBM 、 Samsung 、 德州儀器 ( Texas Instruments Incorporated )、美光( Micron Technology Inc. )、富士電子材料( Fujifilm Electronic Materials U.S.A. Inc. )等 公司,侵犯其所擁有、與半導體晶圓 化學機械研磨( chemical-mechanical polishing , CMP )製程技術相關之專利 。

以 Semcon 控告 IBM 之訴狀為例,其中並未指明任何特定之 IBM 產品為涉及侵犯系爭專利之標的,而僅是指陳至少部分 IBM 輸入美國或在美國使用販售之 IC 晶片,是使用 CMP 製程 (特別是使用半導體設備大廠 Applied Materials 公司之 Reflexion CMP system ) 所製造出來。

本案主要系爭專利為美國專利編號 US 7,156,717 ,名稱為 「現地晶圓研磨助劑控制( [In] situ finishing aid control ) 」, 2007 年核發,發明人為 Charles J. Monlar ,該專利於 2011 年 11 月移轉給 Semcon 。而在對 IBM 之提告中, Semcon 另主張其另一項美國專利編號 US 6,551,933 、名稱為「包括潤滑劑與晶圓定軌之粗磨加工( Abrasive finishing with lubricant and tracking )」的專利權利,其中之請求項 14 亦受到侵犯。

Semcon 過往幾乎沒有任何經營實績是與系爭專利之實施有所關連,同時其登記之營業處所地址與其他近期提出多項專利侵權告訴的公司相同,例如 CyberFone Systems LLC 等。由此觀之,原告或者具備「專利流氓」( patent troll )之性質。 (545 字;表 3)

表一、請求項解析

US 7,156,717 請求項 1
US 6,551,933 請求項 14
1. 1. A method of finishing a tracked semiconductor wafer having a semiconductor wafer surface and a finishing cycle time, the method comprising the steps of: 研磨具備半導體晶圓表面與研磨週期時間之定軌半導體晶圓的方法,其包括以下步驟 14. A method of finishing a tracked semiconductor wafer having a semiconductor wafer surface and a finishing cycle time, the method comprising the steps of: 研磨具備半導體晶圓表面與研磨週期時間之定軌半導體晶圓的方法,其包括以下步驟
providing the tracked semiconductor wafer having tracked information; providing a finishing surface; providing a finishing aid to an interface formed between the finishing surface and the semiconductor wafer surface; providing a finishing control subsystem having: 提供帶有軌道資訊之定軌半導體晶圓 ( Fig.1 - 20 ) ;提供一研磨表面 ( Fig.1 - 26 ) ;對研磨表面與半導體表面間所形成介面提供一研磨助劑;提供一研磨控制系統 providing the tracked semiconductor wafer having tracked information; providing an abrasive finishing element finishing surface; providing a finishing aid to an operative finishing interface comprising the interface formed between the abrasive finishing element finishing surface and the semiconductor wafer surface; providing a finishing control subsystem having: 提供帶有軌道資訊之定軌半導體晶圓 ( Fig.1 - 20 ) ;提供一帶有研磨粉體 ( Fig.1 - 24 ) 之研磨表面 ( Fig.1 - 26 ) ;對待有研磨粉體之研磨表面與半導體表面間所形成介面提供一研磨助劑;提供一研磨控制系統
at least three operative process sensors for sensing in situ process information during the finishing cycle time; access to the tracked information; 該控制系統包括至少三個作業程序感應器 ( Fig.1 - 500 ) ,感應在週期時間內現地發生之製程資訊,並存取軌道資訊; at least three operative process sensors for sensing in situ process information; access to the tracked information; 該控制系統包括至少三個作業程序感應器 ( Fig.1 - 500 ) ,感應在週期時間內現地發生之製程資訊,並存取軌道資訊;
and a processor to evaluate the in situ process information and the tracked information; applying an operative finishing motion in the interface forming at least one region having the finishing aid and wherein the at least one region has a tangential force of friction; and changing a plurality of control parameters in response to an evaluation of both the in situ process information sensed with the at least three operative process sensors and the tracked information and wherein changing the control parameters changes the tangential force of friction in the at least one region having the finishing aid during at least a portion of the finishing cycle time. 以及一個處理器 ( Fig.1 - 510 ) ,其評估現地製程資訊與軌道資訊,對附有研磨助劑並帶有磨擦切力之介面進行研磨動作,並依據所感應之資訊來改變多項變數 and a processor to evaluate the in situ process information and the tracked information; applying an operative finishing motion in the operative finishing interface forming a coefficient of friction in a uniform region of the semiconductor wafer surface having the finishing aid; and evaluating both the in situ process information sensed with the at least three operative process sensors and the tracked information; and changing with the finishing control subsystem a plurality of control parameters to change finishing at least 4 times during at least a portion of the finishing cycle time. 以及一個處理器 ( Fig.1 - 510 ) ,其評估現地製程資訊與軌道資訊,對在附有研磨助劑之半導體晶圓表面上、產生特定磨擦係數的作業中研磨介面進行研磨動作,並依據所感應之資訊來改變多項變數
 pclass_12_A112_A.gif  pclass_12_A112_B.gif

Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心 — 科技產業資訊室整理, 2012/05

表二、系爭專利相關之訴訟案

提告日期 案件名稱 案號 承辦法院 專利號
2012.4.27 Semcon Tech LLC v. Fujifilm Electronic Materials U.S.A. Inc. 1:12-cv-00529 the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware US 7,156,717
Semcon Tech LLC v. Intel Corporation 1:12-cv-00531
Semcon Tech LLC v. Micron Technology Inc. 1:12-cv-00532
Semcon Tech LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. et. al. 1:12-cv-00533
Semcon Tech LLC v. IBM 1:12-cv-00530
Semcon Tech LLC v. Texas Instruments Incorporated 1:12-cv-00534
2012.4.13 Semcon Tech LLC. v. Freescale Semiconductor Inc. 1:12-cv-00470 the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware US 7,156,717
2012.3.1 Semcon Tech LLC v. Qualcomm Incorporated 1:12-cv-00251 the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware US 7,156,717

Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心—科技產業資訊室整理, 2012/05

表三、專利訴訟案件基本資料
Semcon Tech LLC. 控告 IBM

 

訴訟名稱 提告日期 原告 被告 案號 訴訟法院 系爭專利 訴狀下載
Semcon Tech LLC v. International Business Machines Corporation 2012 年4月27日 Semcon Tech LLC International Business Machines Corporation 1:12-cv-00530 the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware US 7,156,717
US 6,551,933
download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. Broadcom Corporation 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
Broadcom Corporation
 
1:13-cv-00698-UNA Delaware District Court US6,541,381
US7,156,717
US6,551,933
US6,656,023
download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. Nvidia Corporation 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
Nvidia Corporation
 
1:13-cv-00700-UNA Delaware District Court US6,541,381
US7,156,717
US6,551,933
US6,656,023
download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. GlobalFoundries Singapore PTE Ltd. et al 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
GlobalFoundries Singapore PTE Ltd.
GlobalFoundries Inc.
GlobalFoundries US Inc.
GlobalFoundries Americas Inc.

 
1:13-cv-00699-UNA Delaware District Court US6,541,381
US7,156,717
US6,551,933
US6,656,023
download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. Powerchip Technology Corporation et al 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
Powerchip Technology Corporation
Rexchip Electronics Corporation
Elpida Memory Inc.
Elpida Memory (USA) Inc.

 
1:13-cv-00701-UNA Delaware District Court US7,156,717 download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. ProMOS Technologies Inc. 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
ProMOS Technologies Inc.
 
1:13-cv-00702-UNA Delaware District Court US7,156,717 download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. Spansion Inc. 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
Spansion Inc.
 
1:13-cv-00703-UNA Delaware District Court US7,156,717 download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation et al 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shanghai) Corporation
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Beijing) Corporation
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Tianjin) Corporation
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shenzhen) Corporation
SilTech Semiconductor (Shanghai) Corporation Limited
SMIC Americas

 
1:13-cv-00704-UNA Delaware District Court US7,156,717 download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd. et al 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd.
TSMC North America
TSMC Development Inc.
Wafertech LLC
TSMC China Company Limited

 
1:13-cv-00705-UNA Delaware District Court US7,156,717
US6,656,023
download.gif
Semcon Tech LLC v. STMicroelectronics, N.V. et al 2013年4月18日 Semcon Tech LLC
 
STMicroelectronics, N.V.
STMicroelectronics International N.V.
STMicroelectronics Inc.

 
1:13-cv-00706-UNA Delaware District Court US7,156,717
US6,656,023
download.gif

Source: 科技政策研究與資訊中心 — 科技產業資訊室整理, 2012/05


 
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