The Korea Herald


Samsung ordered to pay $400m to KAIST over semiconductor tech patent infringement

By Sohn Ji-young

Published : June 17, 2018 - 11:28

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Samsung Electronics has reportedly been ordered to pay $400 million to the licensing arm of South Korea’s top science and research university KAIST over infringing a patent related to key semiconductor technology.

A US federal jury in Texas ruled that the Korean tech giant infringed KAIST’s patent related FinFet -- a key transistor technology used to produce processors for mobile phones -- and should pay a fine, according to a Bloomberg report Saturday.

Chipmakers Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries were also found to have infringed the patent, but reportedly were not ordered to pay damages.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

Samsung refuted that it worked with the Korean university to develop the technology, denied patent infringement and challenged the validity of the patent during the trial.

Looking ahead, the Korean electronics giant plans to “consider all options to obtain an outcome that is reasonable, including an appeal,” Samsung told Bloomberg in a statement.

The suit was filed in November 2016, by KAIST IP US, the university’s licensing arm which claimed the defendants have been infringing US Patent No. 6,885,055 that relates to FinFet.

KAIST IP US had reportedly claimed that Samsung initially dismissed the FinFet technology research at first, but changed its attitude when rival Intel started licensing the invention and developing related products.

The case marks a clash between Korea’s top science and engineering institution and the country’s biggest tech company and conglomerate, which often work together for talent acquisition and technology innovation.

In the Texas jury decision, Samsung’s infringement was found to be “willful,” which means that the judge could raise the damages to award as much as three times the jury’s amount.

By Sohn Ji-young (