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ITC investigates SanDisk patent violation
Mark Peters : February 12th 2006 - 19:10 CET
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SanDiskITC investigates SanDisk patent violation : SanDisk Corporation today announced that the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) has instituted an investigation in response to a complaint filed by SanDisk. The investigation, entitled In the Matter of Certain NOR and NAND Flash Memory Devices and Products Containing same, has been assigned Investigation No. 337-TA-560. The ITC will investigate whether NOR and NAND flash memory chips manufactured by STMicroelectronics and sold in the USA infringe SanDisk’s US Patent No. 5,172,338 and US Patent No. 5,991,517, and whether ST’s NOR and NAND flash memory chips should therefore be barred from importation into and sale in the United States.
ITC investigates SanDisk patent violationITC Investigates SanDisk's complaint
The STMicroelectronics products that will be investigated include both binary and multi-state NOR flash memory chips, as well as binary and multi-state NAND flash memory chips. In recent weeks, SanDisk has also filed actions claiming infringement of United States Patent No. 5,991,517 and United States Patent No. 6,542,956 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, where an action involving United States Patent No. 5,172,338 is already underway.

SanDisk Patent Portfolio
"We are looking forward to a speedy decision by the ITC," said E. Earle Thompson, SanDisk's Chief Intellectual Property Counsel. "SanDisk has developed a fundamental patent portfolio in the flash memory industry. SanDisk possesses hundreds of patents covering all aspects of flash memory design. SanDisk will vigorously protect its intellectual property against companies who seek to use SanDisk technology without a license."

About SanDisk
SanDisk, the world’s largest supplier of flash memory data storage card products, designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.

United States International Trade Commission News Release
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain NOR and NAND flash memory devices and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are semiconductor memory chips used in electronic products such as digital cameras, cell phones, PDAs, and digital music players. The investigation is based on a complaint filed by SanDisk Corporation of Sunnyvale, CA, on January 10, 2006. The complaint alleges 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 NOR and NAND flash memory devices and products containing same that infringe patents owned by SanDisk. The complainant requests 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:
- STMicroelectronics N.V. of Geneva, Switzerland
- STMicroelectronics, Inc., of Carrollton, TX.

ITC Investigates case #337-TA-560
By instituting this investigation (337-TA-560), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Charles E. Bullock, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Bullock 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 U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

About ICT (United States International Trade Commission)
The United States International Trade Commission is an independent, quasi-judicial Federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters of trade. The agency investigates the effects of dumped and subsidized imports on domestic industries and conducts global safeguard investigations. The Commission also adjudicates cases involving alleged infringement by imports of intellectual property rights. Through such proceedings, the agency facilitates a rules-based international trading system. The Commission also serves as a Federal resource where trade data and other trade policy-related information are gathered and analyzed. The information and analysis are provided to the President, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), and Congress to facilitate the development of sound and informed U.S. trade policy. The Commission makes most of its information and analysis available to the public to promote understanding of international trade issues.

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