Samsung Hit With $400 Million Fine Over FinFET Patent Infringement

Samsung Electronics Co. is facing a hefty penalty for improper use of a FinFET technology patent. According to Bloomberg, a federal jury in Texas on Friday said that the South Korean electronics company infringed a US patent owned by the licensing arm of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

The jury told Samsung to hand over $400 million for damages, but the company could be facing three times that amount. Bloomberg reported that the jury found Samsung’s actions to be “willful,” which gives the judge the authority to raise the fine by as much as three times the jury’s figure.

Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries joined Samsung to defend the use of the FinFET technology. GlobalFoundries also manufactures chips with FinFET technology and Qualcomm is a customer of both companies. The jury found them both guilty. However, Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries were not ordered to pay any damages to KAIST.

Samsung disagrees with the jury’s judgment, and it maintains that it did not infringe KAIST’s patents because it helped develop the technology with the university. Samsung said that it was “disappointed by the verdict.” It also said that it “will consider options to obtain an outcome that is reasonable, including an appeal.”

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  • valeman2012
    Texas Jury is a joke, they did same with Nintendo Wii U possible copyright violation. Letting these Patent trolls win.
  • epdm2be
    Great. Instead of spending money for innovation companies do nothing but pay fines here and there. Money which disappears in bloody politicians' pocket.

    In the mean time, the only thing I do is paying goddamn taxes! Instead of saving for an HTC Vive Pro or any other tech that I'm interested in. :-(
  • bit_user
    Anonymous said:
    Texas Jury is a joke, they did same with Nintendo Wii U possible copyright violation. Letting these Patent trolls win.

    Wait a sec...
    Quote:
    South Korean electronics company infringed a US patent owned by the licensing arm of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
    ...
    Samsung ... told the jury that it worked with the university to develop the technology and denied infringing the patent. It also challenged the validity of the patent.

    I'm not sure this is an open-and-shut patent trolling case. Usually, when there are such partnerships, there are agreements in place around IP ownership and licensing. Perhaps the case hinged more on such minutiae...

    Anyway, if the patent isn't valid, at least it's now possible to get it invalidated.