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TSMC's allegations are baseless, claims SMIC chief

Allegations that contract chip maker Semiconductor Manufacturing International (SMIC) infringed on chip-making patents held by rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) are baseless, claimed SMIC's top executive.

SMIC has not violated the intellectual property rights of any company, said Richard Chang, the company's chairman, chief executive officer and president. "We do not have the need to do so either," he added.

Last year, TSMC sued SMIC, alleging that SMIC had infringed on five TSMC patents and misappropriated trade secrets. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and an injunction against SMIC.

On 18 August, TSMC expanded that lawsuit by filing a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC).

The ITC complaint alleged that SMIC misappropriated trade secrets and had infringed on three additional patents. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to ban the import of certain SMIC products into the US.

TSMC also filed a patent-infringement suit over the three patents.

While some observers may assume that the allegations made against SMIC are true, an examination of the facts will show the company is innocent of these charges, Chang said.

Despite the ongoing legal battle, Chang expressed his support for TSMC's plans to begin production at a 200mm chip fabrication plant outside Shanghai, saying he opposed Taiwanese government restrictions that limit semiconductor-related investments in China.

He also had a few words of praise for TSMC chairman Morris Chang, who is credited for leading the development of the contract chip-making industry. The two men are not related.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service


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