Samsung, one of the leading chip manufacturers int he world, has been given a guilty verdict by a jury in South Korea. The case began over patents on Finbased field-effect transistor (FinTET) technology that are owned by South Korean university, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.
FinFET technology, common in one form or another to most high-performance semiconductors on the market today, extends the field-effect transistors found on chips into the third dimension as a means of reducing power draw and/or boosting performance.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology claimed to have a patent applicable to FinFET implementations, and has been licensing it out under its KAIST IP subsidiary – a subsidiary which, a lawsuit claims, Samsung refused to pay before implementing FinFET in its own products.
The case is very complex as Samsung alleges it worked with the University developing the original technology. Samsung denies both the validity of the patent in question and the claimed infringement on their part. On the other hand, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology claims Samsung dismissed the research of the FinFET patent until its rival Intel licensed it for its own products.
The jury this week sided with the university, stating that Samsung was guilty of wilful infringement. Samsung face $400 million in compensation feed but have vowed to appeal the decision. A representative told Bloomberg that they “will consider all options to obtain an outcome that is reasonable… including an appeal.”