Another Major Victory For Texas Instruments

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July 2010

Irell & Manella LLP has obtained summary judgment of noninfringement on behalf of Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) in a second patent case filed against TI by Microprocessor Enhancement Corporation (MEC), a subsidiary of patent-holding company Acacia Research Corporation. The name of the case is Microprocessor Enhancement Corp., et al v. Texas Instruments Incorporated, SACV 08-1123 SVW (C.D. Cal.).

Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California recently granted summary judgment that TI does not infringe any claim of the sole asserted patent, U.S. patent 5,471,593. MEC was seeking unspecified damages and a permanent injunction against TI’s OMAP 2 and OMAP 3 families of products, which incorporate ARM1136 and ARM Cortex-A8 processors, respectively. TI’s OMAP products are used in many consumer electronics, including cell phones.

MEC filed the case against TI in the fall of 2008. Around the same time, MEC also separately sued STMicroelectronics, Emulex Corporation, Archos, Inc., Mindspeed Technologies, Inc., and Bug Labs, Inc. in the same court, alleging that the same types of ARM processors in those defendants’ products infringed the same patent asserted against TI. ARM, Inc. intervened in two of the cases.

Irell & Manella took the lead on noninfringement, filing separate motions for summary judgment of noninfringement on behalf of TI with respect to OMAP 2/ARM1136 and OMAP 3/Cortex-A8. Defendants in the other cases joined TI’s motions. Meanwhile, MEC filed mirror motions against TI for partial summary judgment of infringement.

In his July 1 order, Judge Wilson granted TI summary judgment of noninfringement with respect to both OMAP 2/ARM1136 and OMAP 3/Cortex-A8, each on two independent grounds. The Court denied both of MEC’s motions for partial summary judgment of infringement and ordered MEC to pay TI’s costs.

This is the second time in a row that Irell & Manella has won summary judgment of noninfringement against MEC on behalf of TI. In 2005, MEC filed a patent infringement suit against TI’s C6x family of digital signal processors, seeking more than $94 million in damages and a permanent injunction. Chief Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler of the Central District of California granted TI summary judgment that the asserted patent was not infringed, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed.

"We are pleased that by securing summary judgment of noninfringement, we were able to again spare our client Texas Instruments from what would inevitably have become a costly trial defending meritless claims of patent infringement,” said Gary Frischling, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Irell & Manella who led the defense team. "Defendants do not have to succumb to coercion and settle groundless infringement claims to avoid expensive trials."

In addition to Frischling, Irell & Manella partners Layn Phillips and Keith Orso, among others, comprised TI’s defense team.