University sues Intel over chip manufacturing patent

The University of New Mexico has filed a lawsuit alleging infringement

The University of New Mexico's patent arm, STC, filed a lawsuit against Intel on Monday alleging the infringement of a patent related to advanced chip manufacturing.

The patent in question, No. 6,042,998, pertains to double patterning lithography technology, which is important for the manufacture of chips with tiny features the size of a few atoms strung together. Chip makers around the world have sought new ways to manufacture chips as the transistors and other components on them become smaller to fit into smaller devices.

Five companies have already signed licensing deals with STC for use of its patents, including Toshiba, Samsung Electronics, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), according to a statement from STC.

"STC filed this complaint to ensure that the interests of the University of New Mexico, its inventors and its licensees are protected and that the STC receives the compensation to which it is entitled for Intel Corporation’s unlicensed use of the advanced technology," the statement said.

Intel could not immediately be reached for comment.

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.

STC said it was "reluctant" to turn to the courts to settle this issue, but did so after contacting Intel and coming to the conclusion they had "no other recourse."

STC is asking the court to declare that Intel is infringing on the patent and order the chip maker to pay damages to STC.

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