Intersil fined for TAOS patent infringement

Intersil fined for TAOS patent infringement

Business news |
Intersil Corp. has been found guilty of infringing patents held by Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc. (TAOS) and fined $58.8 million in a court case that dates back to 2008. Taos was acquired by AMS AG (Unterpremstaetten, Austria) in 2011.
By eeNews Europe


The Texas jury found that Intersil (Milpitas, Calif.) used patented technology for dual-diode ambient light sensors without consent. The jury also found that Intersil misappropriated TAOS’ trade secrets in order to obtain a competitive advantage. TAOS prevailed in all the company’s claims against Intersil, including misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, tortious interference and patent infringement. The verdict includes $48.8 million in damages for trade secret misappropriation and $10 million in punitive damages for both trade secret misappropriation and for tortious interference.

The TAOS technology was patented in 2002. It allows flat panel video displays to adjust brightness based on surrounding ambient light levels.

According to the trial testimony the two companies entered into discussions about a potential acquisition of TAOS by Intersil on 2004, including the sharing of information under non-disclosure agreements. The jury was told that within a year of the talks ending Intersil introduced a competing light sensor and used confidential pricing information to undercut TAOS and gain design wins in the second generation iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.

Intersil said that it would try to overturn the verdict through post-trial motions and appeals to the appropriate U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal, as necessary.

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