Nanya Files Patent Complaint


TAIPEI—Nanya Technology Corp. filed on Tuesday a patent infringement complaint against Japanese chip rival Elpida Memory Inc., its U.S. unit and California-based Kingston Technology Co. after a similar action from Elpida last week against the Taiwanese memory chip maker.

Nanya said it has asked the International Trade Commission to halt the production and sales of Elpida's dynamic random access memory chips and products containing DRAM chips made by Elpida, claiming Elpida's products infringe four of its U.S. patents.

DRAM chips are widely use in personal computers and many electronic products to store data. The complaint comes as major DRAM makers world-wide are suffering from an industry supply glut, which has led to steep price declines and put many manufacturers in the red.

"Nanya is evaluating its other options, including the filing of a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. district court. We expect to be compensated for the sale of products that infringe our patents," Nanya Technology Vice President Pei-Lin Pai said in a statement.

Elpida said Tuesday the Japanese memory chip maker can't comment on issues involving lawsuits, while U.S.-based flash memory card maker Kingston, which uses Elpida's DRAM chips for its products, declined to comment.

Patent infringement claims are common in the high-tech industry as companies fiercely compete to set industry standards. Analysts say such disputes typically end in cross-licensing arrangements whereby both parties can benefit from sharing their respective patents. In many cases, companies use claims and lawsuits as weapons in getting the upper hand in negotiations.

Nanya's complaint comes after Elpida said last week it filed a complaint in the U.S. with the ITC, claiming Nanya's products infringe seven of its U.S. patents.