Non-practicing entities (NPEs) are keeping Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix in check with their foreign rivals in the memory semiconductor industry.
DSS Technology Management, one of the world’s largest NPEs, has recently filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics with the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The litigation surrounding semiconductor processing techniques covers TSMC of Taiwan and NEC of Japan as well, but the consensus is that Samsung Electronics is the main target.
SK Hynix is under attack by Toshiba and SanDisk. Toshiba sued the Korean company for technology theft by a former employee. The trillion won case is currently under investigation by the Japanese police. SanDisk, in the meantime, brought a lawsuit with the Santa Clara Superior Court for allegations of tech leaks. It called for a ban on the sale of flash memory products and claimed damages, too.
Industry experts are saying that these moves are designed to strangle Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix. “The sales activities of both companies are likely to be restricted, at least to some extent, in the United States and Japan, where the patent litigation is going on,” one of them explained.
Both SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics are aggressively increasing their presence in the global semiconductor market. According to DRAMeXchange, the latter accounted for 36.68 percent of the DRAM market and 38.05 percent of the NAND flash market last year. SK Hynix recorded a share of 26.98 percent and 13.1 percent each to take the second place. They are planning to respond to current litigation after a thorough examination of the situation.