Mark Grant, general counsel for San Jose semiconductor maker Mosel Vitelic Inc., felt well-armed last week going into trial over a series of patent disputes with rival Micron Technology Inc.

And the biggest gun in the company arsenal was a favorable preliminary ruling from an administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission. In frank terms, Judge Sidney Harris’ opinion declared three of Micron’s patents invalid and chastised the company for getting the patents through “inequitable conduct.”

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