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Date: 30-04-16

MACOM files suit against Infineon over GaN patents

MACOM Technology filed a legal suit in U.S. against Infineon Technologies related to GaN tech which Infineon gained after acquiring International Rectifier in 2015. MACOM said it is defending its rights to use the patented gallium nitride on silicon (GaN) technology developed by Nitronex which was acquired by MACOM in 2014. GaN is used in 4G/LTE and 5G basestations for their switching efficiency at higher speeds.

MACOM alleges that Infineon has attempted to interfere with and usurp MACOM's rights under certain agreements between Nitronex and International Rectifier. "Nitronex and IR, and later, MACOM and IR, successfully collaborated for many years. Problems developed only after Infineon acquired IR and began to try to ‘renegotiate' the Nitronex-IR agreements to reduce MACOM's rights," said John Croteau, President and Chief Executive Officer of MACOM. "When MACOM declined to accede to Infineon's demands, Infineon concocted claims to interfere with our rights under the agreements."

"Infineon's behavior is clear validation that MACOM's GaN technology - the product of 15 years and over $100 million in investment - is at the tipping point of market adoption, threatening large incumbents like Infineon. We believe this has caused Infineon to engage in strong-arm tactics designed to retard, rather than accelerate, innovation," said Croteau. "We submit that such business practices are unethical and anti-competitive and will strenuously oppose them as a matter of course," added Croteau.

MACOM asking Infineon to assign to MACOM several Nitronex GaN patents.

MACOM is a U.S.-based fast-growing networking and RF device maker. MACOM reported its second Quarter Fiscal Year 2016 revenue of $133.6 million, an increase of 15.4% percent, compared to $115.8 million in the prior fiscal quarter and an increase of 30.4% percent compared to $102.4 million in the previous year fiscal second quarter. A great performance amid weak semiconductor market.

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