The South Korean Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has sued Samsung, Qualcomm and Global Foundries over infringing its FinFET technology patents without permission.
The state-run research institute's intellectually property management arm, KAIST IP, has sued Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and Global Foundries in a Texas court.
In its lawsuit, KAIST IP claimed Samsung Electronics did not show interest in the 3D FinFET technologies when it was presented back in 2001. FinFET was first developed by Lee Jong-ho, a professor of Seoul National University, in partnership with KAIST.
According to the research institute, the technology was proposed to both Samsung and Intel, and Samsung invited Lee to lecture its engineers. Intel obtained licenses of the technology and released its product, MOSFET, in 2011, while Samsung turned down the proposal but developed a technology identical to FinFET.
KAIST claims that Samsung was able to reduce the development time and cost by copying Lee's invention without cost.
KAIST IP is also suing GlobalFoundries, which is using the technology through a license agreement with Samsung, as well as chip designer Qualcomm, which is a client of both Samsung and Global Foundries.
The institute said it is also planning to file a lawsuit against Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC "as soon as it secures evidence of patent infringement."