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Microchip Technology Sues Chinese Firm for Alleged Piracy
Jul 9, 2007
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Semiconductor maker Microchip Technology said it is suing a Chinese manufacturer for alleged illegal copying of its microcode and other proprietary information.

U.S.-based Microchip said that it filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Shanghai Haier Integrated Circuit in Shanghai's No. 1 Intermediate People's Court. Details about the lawsuit or any damages sought were not immediately available.

"Intellectual property is the backbone of our company and our industry," said William Yang, Microchip's VP for Asia-Pacific, said in a written statement. "When we find out that our intellectual property has been infringed upon, it is important for us to take action to protect our assets," Yang said.

Shanghai-based Shanghai Haier branded Microchip's allegations as "untrue." In a statement, the Chinese company said that the design of its semiconductors were "fully self-developed with our own intellectual property copyright" and that the computer chips were not fully compatible with Microchip's. "SHIC will fight for the truth and our rights," it said.

Microchip Technology said it also filed a "related legal action" against Linkage Technology, a company based in Taiwan's high-tech hub of Hsinchu that it said was a Taiwanese distributor for Shanghai Haier. The microcode in question was embedded in a Microchip Technology's PIC16CXXX microcontrollers, the company said. Microcontrollers are used in many industries, including consumer electronics, vehicles, telecommunications equipment and industrial automation.

Microchip Technology also alleged that Shanghai Haier, a unit of Chinese appliance maker Haier Group, copied datasheets detailing the use and operation of the US company's microcontrollers. (AP)

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