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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.”