Bell Semiconductor Cases.

  • September 1, 2022

Bell Semiconductor filed a large number of patent infringement lawsuits this week, including seven in Massachusetts (against Advanced Micro Devices, Analog Devices, Infineon Technologies America, MACOM Technology Solutions, Marvel Semiconductor, Nvidia, Silicon Laboratories, and Skyworks Solutions), asserting infringement of a pair of patents governing semiconductor chip manufacture.  A first concerns chemical mechanical planarization/polishing (“CMP”) of semiconductor chips.  This process, which takes places periodically when building chip layers, reduces the chances of short circuits by ensuring that each chip layer is flat and smooth.  CMP is made more effective by the addition of “dummy fill,” which is added to a chip layer to even out the density and hardness of the layer, ensuring that polishing does not selectively remove more material from one section versus another.  Bell Semiconductor asserts a pair of patents related to the dummy fill process, by which the dummy fill procedure does not have to be altered when a design change in the chip is implemented.  The second asserted patent concerns validation of a chip design prior to the chip being manufactured.  Bell asserts that the accused parties utilize these technologies in their design of semiconductor chips. 

In addition to the District Court complaints, Bell had previously brought an ITC complaint seeking to block importation of chips made overseas by these defendants. 

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