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Wednesday, November 17, 2010
University of New Mexico Claims Intel Infringes Lithography Technology

Following similar suits the university has filed against Samsung, TSMC, and Toshiba, the University of New Mexico's technology-transfer arm (STC) is claiming Intel is infringing its patent, "Method and Apparatus for Extending Spatial Frequencies in Photolithography Images."

STC is charging Intel with patent infringement of a University of New Mexico invention that improves the capability of semiconductor manufacturers to fabricate advanced chips. STC filed a complaint today against Intel in the United States District Court in the district of New Mexico.

STC currently has licenses for its double patterning lithography technology with five companies: Toshiba, NEC/Renesas, Samsung, Hynix and TSMC. The STC patent pertains to lithographic methods that allow for the manufacture of smaller features in semiconductor devices. As manufacturers seek to shrink critical dimensions within chips, in accordance with Moore's law, this patented technology has emerged as a key solution to the fabrication of advanced devices.

STC said that it has filed this complaint to ensure that the interests of the University of New Mexico, its inventors and its licensees are protected and that the STC receives the compensation to which it is entitled for Intel Corporation?s unlicensed use of the advanced technology.

Lisa Kuuttila, STC?s President & CEO, stressed that STC has contacted Intel Corporation with regards to the patented technology: "While STC was reluctant to use the courts to enforce our patent rights, we have no other recourse given our duty to protect the intellectual property of our inventors and the University."

STC's double patterning lithography technology, which issued as a patent in 2000, was developed by several researchers at UNM, including Dr. Steven R. J. Brueck. Dr. Brueck is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Physics and Astronomy and is the Director of UNM's Center for High Technology Materials.

STC?s complaint identifies Intel as infringing STC's United States Patent No. 6.042.998, entitled "Method and Apparatus for Extending Spatial Frequencies in Photolithography Images." STC is asking the court to declare that Intel is infringing its patent. The court will also be asked to order Intel to pay damages to STC.

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