September 16, 2004
News Release 04-101
Inv. No. 337-TA-525

ITC INSTITUTES SECTION 337 INVESTIGATION ON CERTAIN SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING SAME

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain semiconductor devices and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are semiconductor devices that are allegedly manufactured using complainants' patented process technologies and trade secrets, and products containing such devices. The accused semiconductor devices include, but are not limited to, a broadband processor for wireless modems, a high-definition video subsystem for televisions and set-top boxes, and a memory chip.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd., of Taiwan; TSMC North America of San Jose, CA; and WaferTech L.L.C. of Camas, WA, on August 18, 2004, alleging violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain semiconductor devices and products containing same that infringe patents owned by the complainants and misappropriate the complainants' trade secrets. Supplements to the complaint were filed on September 7, 2004, and September 15, 2004. The complainants request that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation:

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-525), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Sidney Harris, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Harris will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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