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Purdue University wins SiC patent lawsuit against ST


Purdue awarded $32.5 million in past compensatory damages, plus a running royalty on future sales

Purdue University has won its patent infringement lawsuit against STMicroelectronics. US patent 7,498,633 covers technology involving SiC semiconductors invented by Purdue’s James Cooper and his graduate student/postdoctoral researcher Asmita Saha.

On Dec. 4, a jury returned a verdict in Purdue’s favour, finding that ST infringed the patent by selling infringing SiC semiconductors. The jury awarded Purdue $32.5 million in past compensatory damages, plus a running royalty on future sales.

“Winning this case is a great victory for Purdue,” said Brian Edelman, Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) president. “As the university’s tech transfer and commercialisation arm, we take managing and protecting Purdue intellectual property very seriously, and we hold ourselves and others accountable to the highest standards. Our preference is to reach a licensing agreement, but we have a moral obligation to protect Purdue IP, and that includes going to court to defend our rights. The jury recognised this semiconductor research from Purdue researchers, and the decision is great news for the inventors, Purdue University and Purdue Research Foundation.”

Under the Bayh-Dole Act, contractors of inventions arising from federal government-funded research, such as US universities, own, patent and commercialise inventions through licensing. At Purdue, revenues from licensing are distributed among the inventors, their affiliated departments and the Purdue Research Foundation, which reinvests back into the commercialisation and innovation ecosystem.

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