Tessera Technologies Inc. has declared patent war on its largest customer.
Tessera and its subsidiaries brought 10 actions against Samsung Electronics Co. across the United States and Europe on Thursday, alleging that the company’s smartphones infringe 24 patents covering semiconductor processing, bonding and packaging.
San Jose, California-based Tessera makes its money licensing semiconductor design technology to some of the world’s largest electronics companies. Tessera parent Xperi Corp. reported earlier this year that Samsung accounted for 25 percent of its revenues, or about $65 million, making the Korean smartphone maker its largest customer. Tessera and Samsung have been licensing partners for 20 years, a relationship that was just expanded in 2014, but ended last December.
“While we remain in dialogue, unfortunately at this point the parties have not been able to come to an agreement,” Tessera CEO Jon Kirchner said in a news release.Samsung representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A Latham & Watkins team led by partner Matthew Moore is representing Tessera. It appears to be the first time Latham has filed suit for the company. Covington & Burling is currently repping Tessera in litigation against Broadcom Corp. and Avago Technologies, while Irell & Manella led Tessera to a $145 million arbitration win against Amkor Technology Inc. in 2014. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Munger, Tolles & Olson and others have been counsel in the past.
Latham isn’t a stranger to Samsung. The firm’s patent lawyers recently battled the company in the International Trade Commission and federal court on behalf graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp. and Interdigital Communications Inc. The litigation settled last year.
Technically, Thursday’s actions were brought by four Tessera subsidiaries. Tessera Advanced Technologies Inc. sued in the ITC and in New Jersey federal court over two patents on “wafer level packaging.”
Invensas Bonding Technologies also sued in New Jersey over six patents on semiconductor bonding, while asserting two semiconductor processing patents in another action in Delaware.
Tessera Advanced Technologies asserted two additional wafer level packing patents in the Eastern District of Texas. Invensas alleges infringement of five patents on semiconductor processing and “ball grid array packaging” in the Eastern District. FotoNation Ltd. and DigitalOptics Corp. assert eight patents related to imaging technologies in the Eastern District.
Invensas also filed two actions in the Regional Court of Mannheim, Germany, and one in District Court of The Hague, all alleging infringement of a semiconductor interconnect technology.
“Although we always prefer to reach negotiated license agreements,” Kirchner said in Thursday’s statement, “Samsung has left us with no choice but to defend our intellectual property rights through these legal actions.”