A Japanese court is today expected to rule on a legal battle between Fujitsu and Texas Instruments (TI), which has dragged on for seven years.
The skirmish has provoked intense debate because it underlines the balance of trade tensions between Japan and the US in the hi-tech sector. This particular battle centres around basic semiconductor technology, with Fujitsu claiming that technology invented by TI's Jack Kilby, virtual father of the semiconductor, and then patented, was not as advanced as its own.
TI took action against Fujitsu in 1991 over the claims and the decision will affect royalties and cross-licensing fees paid by other companies for either side's technology. Licensing deals, even for commodity items such as Drams, are a major source of revenue for large chip designers.
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