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Toshiba Settles NAND Flash Patent Dispute With Lexar

The settlement, announced Friday, includes Toshiba's purchase of some Micron semiconductor patents and licensing technologies previously owned by Lexar.

InformationWeek Staff

September 15, 2006

1 Min Read

TOKYO — Toshiba Corp. has settled a NAND flash memory patent dispute with Lexar Media Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. memory maker Micron Technology.

Toshiba agreed to purchase Micron's patents for $288 million.

The agreement settles all litigation related to NAND flash memory patents between Toshiba and Lexar in California federal and appeals courts and before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

The settlement announced Friday (Sept. 15) includes Toshiba's purchase of some Micron semiconductor patents and licensing technologies previously owned by Lexar.

The patent dispute began in 2002 when Lexar accused Toshiba of misappropriating its patented NAND flash technologies. In May 2005, a California jury returned a verdict against Toshiba and its U.S. subsidiary, Toshiba America Electronics Components, Inc., awarding Lexar $465 million in fines for patent infringement. Toshiba appealed the verdict.

"After Lexar was acquired by Micron, Micron became the plaintiff, which changed the situation," said a Toshiba spokesman.

"We appreciate that Micron approached this issue in a positive spirit that allowed the parties to work together to bring all outstanding litigation and claims to a full and final resolution," Masashi Muromachi, president and CEO of Toshiba's Semiconductor Co., said in a statement.

Micron CEO Steve Appleton added in the same statement that "Toshiba [is] an innovator in flash technology and we see no merit in continuing to pursue this litigation."

The Toshiba spokesman added that "the purchased semiconductor patents will reinforce our semiconductor business." The patents are unrelated to NAND flash, Toshiba said.

Despite the $288 million settlement, Toshiba said it will not revise its financial forecast for its current fiscal year.

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