Updated May 12, 2011 - BUSINESS WIRE -- The US International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled in Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI) favor and found that Knowles Electronics infringed ADI's Wafer Anti-Stiction Application (WASA) patent, U.S. Pat. No. 7,364,942. The ITC also issued an exclusion order prohibiting further importation into the United States of Knowles' infringing "MEMS [microphone] devices and products containing the same," effective July 11, 2011.
For its part, Knowles states that the ITC has ruled definitively that "MEMS microphones made by Knowles’s current manufacturing process will not be affected by the patent case brought by Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI). This decision clears the way for Knowles to continue selling and importing these products without impact from the case."
The ITC's decision confirms an initial ruling on December 23, 2010 by Administrative Law Judge Robert K. Rogers, Jr., finding that Knowles infringed ADI's patent. In January, the ITC confirmed the earlier ruling by ALJ Rogers, which found that two of Knowles' patents were invalid, and that ADI was not restricted from selling its own MEMS microphones.
Knowles further states, "The ITC Investigation was initiated in December 2009 based on ADI’s allegation that Knowles’s MEMS microphones infringed two patents that covered processes for the manufacture of these devices. Knowles no longer uses the processes at issue in the ITC case, having transitioned all of its production to one of its manufacturing processes that ADI did not accuse of infringement during the ITC investigation. The ITC has now expressly affirmed an earlier ruling that products manufactured under Knowles’s current process would not be subject to any exclusion order issued by the ITC. The ITC’s decision also made clear that imports by Knowles’s customers who incorporate Knowles’s microphones into their products may continue without interruption, regardless of the process used to manufacture those microphones. As a result, Knowles expects its operations and its customers’ operations to continue as normal."
"While we are gratified that the ITC has granted our request and issued an exclusion order barring importation of Knowles microphones into the United States, our dispute with Knowles is not over," said Margaret Seif, vice president and general counsel, Analog Devices. "In our pending lawsuit against Knowles in Delaware, we expect to recover significant financial damages for Knowles' past sales of infringing MEMS microphones. In addition, we will do what we can to insure that Knowles does not import infringing products into the United States, either directly or indirectly."
By integrating a MEMS transducer with an audio ASIC, iMEMS microphones optimize system designs, beginning with motion sensors and now with MEMS microphones, with more control over the full solution and value chain.
Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) provides data conversion and signal conditioning technology used in analog and digital signal processing applications. Learn more at www.analog.com.