April 28, 2000
News Release 00-057
Inv. No. 337-TA-432


The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has voted to institute an investigation of certain semiconductor chips with minimized chip package size and products containing same. The products at issue in this investigation are "CSP-packaged" semiconductor chips. The term "CSP," or "chip scale package," refers to a semiconductor chip packaging technique in which some or all of the electrical connections between the chip and the circuit board are contained within the area below the periphery of the chip itself, such that the package can be nearly as small as the chip.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Tessera, Inc., of San Jose, CA, on March 28, 2000, and supplemented by letter on April 14 and 19, 2000. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain semiconductor chips with minimized chip package size and products containing same that infringe patents owned by Tessera, Inc. In its complaint, Tessera requests that the ITC issue a permanent exclusion order and a permanent cease and desist order.

The ITC has identified the following companies as respondents in the investigation:

Texas Instruments, Inc. of Dallas, TX;
Sharp Corporation of Osaka, Japan; and
Sharp Electronics Corporation of Mahwah, NJ.

By instituting this investigation (337-TA-432), the ITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The case will be referred to the Honorable Sidney Harris, an ITC administrative law judge, who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. Judge Harris will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The ITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the ITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. ITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the President of the United States within that 60-day period.

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