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Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP

06/09/2021 | Press release | Archived content

Semiconductor In-House Speak Out on Top IP ConcernsSemiconductor In-House Speak Out on Top IP Concerns

Managing Intellectual Property interviewed Finnegan partner J. Preston (J.P.) Long to discuss intellectual property concerns for semiconductor companies. These concerns include navigating trade secrets and bridging the gap between United States and foreign practices.

These challenges have caused companies in the semiconductor industry to rethink their patent strategies. Some companies have become more selective about the patents they apply for, while some companies leverage their patents by entering into joint agreements with their competitors. Some companies are even selling their patents in pieces to non-practicing entities (NPEs) for a quick profit, which has disrupted the industry.

J.P. says that while the Supreme Court of the United States' 2014 ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank made it more difficult for NPEs to assert software patents, semiconductors are harder to challenge on subject matter eligibility grounds. This has led to NPEs showing more interest in the semiconductor industry. J.P. says there has also been some consolidation in the semiconductor industry, which has opened the gates for intellectual property to be divested and for NPEs to acquire it.

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