September 26, 2006

It was announced last week that Micrel Inc. (“Micrel”) and Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (“Monolithic”) settled their dispute pertaining to two patents and trade secret information owned my Micrel. In November of 2004, Micrel filed suit against Monolithic, claiming that Monolithic was infringing on two of its patents, U.S. Patent No. 5,517,046, entitled “High voltage lateral DMOS device with enhanced drift region,” and U.S. Patent No. 5,556,796, entitled “Self-alignment technique for forming junction isolation and wells,” and that Monolithic had misappropriated its trade secrets regarding semiconductor design and manufacturing. Settlement of the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, includes a license of the two patents from Micrel to Monolithic, a $3 million payment from Monolithic to Micrel, and an agreement to dismiss all outstanding claims and counterclaims in the dispute.

U.S. Patent No. 5,517,046: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 5,556,796: LINK
Electronics Supply & Manufacturing Article: LINK
Micrel Press Release: LINK
Monolithic Press Release: LINK


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I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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