Chinese chipmaker YMTC is suing Micron for alleged patent infringement

Micron Technology’s logo appears on the US chipmaker’s offices in Shanghai, China, on May 25, 2023. REUTERS/Ali Song/File Photo Obtaining licensing rights

Nov 12 (Reuters) – Chinese chipmaker Yangtze Memory Technologies Co Ltd has filed a lawsuit against U.S. rival Micron Technology Co Ltd (MU.O), alleging infringement of eight of its patents.

YMTC filed suit against Micron and its Micron Consumer Products Group unit on November 9 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

According to the lawsuit, Micron resorted to YMTC’s patented technology to stave off competition from YMTC and to gain and protect market share. It said Micron did not pay its fair share for use of its patented inventions.

“Although we cannot discuss the details of pending litigation, I can confirm that YMTC recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Micron Technology, Inc. for infringement of our company’s patents related to design, manufacturing, and fabrication. Powering Triple NAND Technology dimensions,” YMTC said in a statement to Reuters on Monday. “We are confident that this matter will be resolved quickly.”

Micron did not respond outside normal US business hours.

Micron makes DRAM chips and NAND flash memory chips and competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) and SK Hynix (000660.KS) in addition to Japan’s Kioxia, a unit of Toshiba (6502.T). YMTC is a much smaller competitor, and the US last year banned it from purchasing some US components.

In recent years, the United States has increased restrictions on the export of chip-making technology to China for security reasons.

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In May, China said Micron products failed a network security review and banned major infrastructure operators from purchasing them.

Micron was embroiled in a dispute in 2018 involving state-backed Chinese chipmaker Fujian Jinhua which was accused of — and denied — stealing trade secrets. Later that year, its main products were subject to a temporary sales ban in China.

China was once Micron’s largest market, generating half of its $20 billion revenue in fiscal 2017. That share shrank to 16% in 2022, the year it closed its DRAM operations in Shanghai.

Micron said it remains committed to China. In June, it said it would invest 4.3 billion yuan ($590 million) in the coming years in its chip packaging plant in Xi’an, and will exhibit for the first time at a trade fair in Shanghai this month.

($1 = 7.2934 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Anirudh Saligrama, Yelin Mo and Brinda Goh) Editing by Christopher Cushing and Lincoln Feast.

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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