Huawei Sued For Infringement Of Semiconductor Patents

Last week, Ocean Semiconductor LLC filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Texas against Huawei, including Huawei Device USA, Inc., Huawei Device Co., Ltd., and its subsidiary HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd. for infringing semiconductor-related patents.

The patents-in-suit are United States Patent Nos. 6,660,651 (the ’651 patent); 6,907,305 (the ’305 patent); 6,725,402 (the ’402 patent); 6,968,248 (the ’248 patent); 7,080,330 (the ’330 patent); 6,836,691 (the ’691 patent); and 8,676,538 (the ’538 patent).

According to the complaint, Huawei USA “distributes, markets, and sells mobile devices, including smartphones in the United States” and Huawei Device “is involved in the design, development, manufacture, sale, and importation of the Accused Products.” Additionally, the plaintiff noted that Huawei is a semiconductor company whose products are in “the communications, internet of things, automotive, computer, and consumer electronics industry.”

For example, the ’651 patent, entitled “Adjustable Wafer Stage, and a Method and System for Performing Process Operations Using Same,” relates to “cross-wafer variations or non-uniformity characteristics in semiconductor wafers that are caused by different deposition and etch processes performed during semiconductor manufacturing.” For instance, the plaintiff noted that the ’651 patent “provides a process tool that includes an adjustable wafer stage that allows positioning or re-positioning of the wafer stage, such as raising, lowering, and varying a tilt of the surface of the wafer stage, in order to effectuate the deposition of semiconductor materials formed on a wafer.”

Huawei allegedly infringed at least claim 1 of the ’651 patent by importing, using, or selling the infringing items in the United States integrated circuits developed using the ASML TWINSCAN system or a similar system without a license or permission. Ocean Semiconductor averred that these accused products are manufactured using the process patented in claim 1 of the ’651 patent. Specifically, according to the complaint, each accused product “includes an integrated circuit fabricated or manufactured using, for example, the ASML TWINSCAN system.” 

Additionally, Huawei allegedly infringed claim 19 of the ’651 patent also through the ASML TWINSCAN. According to the claim chart, the ASML TWINSCAN performs the patented method. Specifically, it is a process chamber that “can be used for wafer exposure during lithography” and it “includes an adjustable wafer stage having a surface that is adjustable.”  For example, the mirror block, which is the table holding the wafer that has mirroring side surfaces, is adjustable and allows for interferometric position measurement (IFM). The plaintiff claimed that it previously informed Huawei of its purported infringement, thus Huawei had knowledge of its infringement.

Huawei was accused of direct, indirect, and induced infringement. The plaintiff is seeking declaratory judgment in its favor, an award for damages, prejudgment interest, and other fees.Ocean Semiconductor is represented by Devlin Law Firm LLC.