Infineon Technologies has decided to drop its complaint against memory maker Elpida in what looks to be a case of patent stalemate.
The German company decided to go to the US International Trade Commission in February, claiming that Elpida had infringed some of its patents. As Infineon backed out of the memory business with the closure of Qimonda, it looked as though the German chipmaker aimed to claw back some cash by finding infringers of memory-related patents. It has wound up with a patent cross-licence which, although is not to be sniffed at, doesn’t sound like a wholesale victory.
To get the money rather than the cross-licence from patenting it’s important not to be actually making stuff (and so it’s just as well that most semiconductor patents are in the hands of companies making stuff otherwise the whole industry would grind to a halt).