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Intersil to pay $77M to Ams

Posted: 09 May 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ams? Intersil? infringement? display? photodiode?

A Texas judge has finally called for Intersil, a power management and analogue IC company, to pay Ams $77 million in damages, including $10 million in exemplary damages. The case was originally filed in November 2008 as Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions (TAOS) v. Intersil, No. 4:08-cv-00451. Ams acquired TAOS in 2011.

The decision comes after a four-week trial in which the jury found in favour of Ams/TAOS on all claims against Intersil, including misappropriation of trade secrets; breach of a non-disclosure agreement; interference with Ams' prospective business relations; and willful infringement of US Patent No. 6,596,981.

TAOS patented a dual-photodiode technology in 2002 that could be used to allow flat panel displays to adjust their brightness based on surrounding ambient light levels. In 2004, the parties shared certain formation under non-disclosure agreements during discussions about the potential acquisition of TAOS by Intersil. This did not take place but within a year of the talks ending Intersil introduced a competing light sensor and used confidential pricing information to undercut TAOS and gain design wins in the second generation iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.

The latest ruling, handed down by Judge Richard A. Schell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, comes after Intersil attempted to overturn an original decision rendered in March 2015.

But the ruling is still not the final word. The final judgement, which will be entered on a later date can, however, be appealed. Ams AG is therefore not able to estimate a time frame for conclusion of the case or recovery of damages awarded.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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