Nanya fires back at Elpida with patent complaint

Nanya claims Elpida violated four of its patents

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Taiwanese DRAM maker Nanya Technology has filed a patent infringement complaint in the U.S. against its Japanese rival Elpida , further escalating the legal battle between the two, it said on Tuesday.

Nanya's complaint, filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), alleges that Elpida infringed on four of the company's U.S. patents. It requests that the ITC ban the sale and import of Elpida's DRAM products to the U.S.

Nanya's complaint also asks the ITC to investigate Kingston Technology, a California-based chip distributor that has invested in Elpida in the past.

"Kingston is a main distributor for Elpida," said Nanya vice president Pai Pei-Lin during a Tuesday conference call. "We are trying to block the sales of Elpida products, so we don't want the company to have a backdoor to sell in the U.S."

The complaint was filed just a week after Elpida took a similar action against Nanya in the U.S. Elpida's complaint requested that the ITC stop imports of Nanya's products in the U.S., claiming that they violated seven of its patents. Elpida also filed a suit with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Court to stop sales and production of related Nanya products.

Elpida said on Tuesday it does not comment on pending lawsuits.

In September, Elpida had filed another lawsuit against Nanya in a U.S. District Court, alleging that the Taiwanese memory chip maker had violated its patents. The lawsuit aims to stop Nanya from infringing on the patents and seeks compensation for damages.

Nanya said it has held face-to-face talks with Elpida, but no progress has been made in reaching any agreement on the alleged patent infringement. "I don't understand Elpida's real motivations behind this," said Pai. "But now we have to protect our rights."

Nanya said in a statement that the company may also file a patent infringement lawsuit in a U.S. district court. The company, however, has yet to be served with any legal documents from Elpida, Pai said. "They haven't sent documents to us, so we are still evaluating the situation."

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