Semiconductors

circuit

Ropes & Gray has earned a reputation as the “go-to” firm for companies in the semiconductor industry. Our international, multidisciplinary team has decades of experience helping semiconductor industry participants solve some of their toughest legal and business challenges.

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Overview

Ropes & Gray attorneys are at the forefront of the semiconductor industry and have the necessary background and experience to handle high-stakes deals and litigations. Our team is well positioned to advise on a range of issues, including intellectual property, transactions, litigation, licensing and regulatory matters. With offices located in key semiconductor markets such as Silicon Valley, Boston, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong, we stand ready to assist clients wherever they need help.

Our team has extensive background and knowledge in a wide range of related fields, such as semiconductor device design, semiconductor manufacturing processes, chemistries and tools, material science, hardware, nanotechnology, MEMs technology, software, signal processing, and wireless communication. As a result, we are able to foresee implications and issues that may arise across the semiconductor industry and counsel clients accordingly.

Ropes & Gray attorneys have handled business-critical matters for many industry leaders, including Entegris, Fujitsu Semiconductor, NXP Semiconductor, Linear Technology Corporation, Qorvo, Samsung Electronics, Veeco Instruments, IQE, MACOM Technology, Mentor Graphics, Microsemi and Spansion.

Additionally, we are active in educating and engaging with the industry on cutting-edge issues through firm-sponsored roundtables, podcasts and CLE programs.

Diverse Offerings

Ropes & Gray has significant experience providing a wide range of legal services for semiconductor clients in the following areas, among others:

  • Antitrust
  • Business and commercial litigation
  • Capital markets
  • Corporate governance and compliance
  • Executive compensation and benefits
  • Intellectual property litigation
  • PTAB proceedings and EPO oppositions
  • IP licensing, joint developments  and other transactions
  • Patent analysis and freedom to operate reviews 
  • Mergers & acquisitions and private equity
  • Securities and public companies
  • Tax
  • Trade secret litigation

Experience

  • Veeco Instruments Inc. v. SGL Carbon, LLC et al. (E.D.N.Y.) – We successfully secured a preliminary injunction and settled a matter for Veeco in a four-patent infringement case related to removable wafer carriers used in the production of LEDs in Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) systems.
  • Solar Junction Corporation v. IQE plc: We represented a semiconductor wafer manufacturer and its employees in a series of lawsuits, an international arbitration, and a PTAB derivation proceeding concerning whether the client’s patents incorporate the plaintiff company’s trade secrets.
  • NFC Technology, LLC v. NXP USA, Inc. (P.T.A.B., Fed. Cir.) – We received final written decisions in four inter partes review (IPR) proceedings that found all 29 challenged claims unpatentable based on two different sets of obviousness grounds. The challenged patent was previously asserted against customers of NXP-branded near field communication (NFC) chip products by NFC Technology LLC, a subsidiary of French governmental patent licensing entity France Brevets, SAS.
  • Dell Inc. v. NXP B.V. (P.T.A.B.) We represented NXP B.V. in defending its patents against numerous challenges by Dell Inc. We opposed six separate IPR petitions filed by Dell challenging the validity of NXP patents relating to battery and NFC technology. After we filed our oppositions, Dell agreed to settle its patent dispute with NXP, including all the requested IPRs, a patent infringement suit in district court and an investigation by the International Trade Commission.
  • Delphi Technologies Inc. v. Microchip Technology Inc. (P.T.A.B.) – We represented the petitioner in two IPR proceedings challenging patents related to multihost USB control circuitry.
  • Spansion v. Macronix et al. (USITC, N.D. Cal., E.D. Va., P.T.A.B.) – We successfully represented Spansion, a global leader in flash memory-based embedded systems solutions, in a massive series of high-profile litigations against Macronix International of Taiwan, Spansion’s rival in flash memory manufacturing.
  • Smart Memory Solutions v. Panasonic et al. (N.D. Cal.) – As litigation counsel for Fujitsu, obtained early settlement in a multidefendant patent litigation involving microcontrollers with flash memory.
  • Served as litigation counsel for Korean-Japanese joint venture Hitachi-LG Data Storage in defending putative civil class actions and related cases alleging price-fixing in the optical disk drive industry.
  • Provide ongoing patent counseling to IQE, the global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced semiconductor wafer products.
  • Advised a leading semiconductor company in connection with various cross-border licensing negotiations and patent asset sales related to advanced semiconductor wafer products.

Our transactional experience includes advising or representing:

  •  Longtime client Bain Capital on the sale by Toshiba Corp. of its semiconductor business to a group led by Bain Capital and also includes Apple Inc., Seagate, Kingston, Hoya, Dell Technologies Inc. and SK Hynix. The transaction, announced on September 28, 2017 and closed on June 1, 2018, is valued at two trillion yen (approximately $18 billion) and is understood to be the largest Japanese deal since 2011, as well as both the largest private equity and leveraged finance deal ever seen in Asia.
  • MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. on employee benefits and executive compensation matters in its acquisition of 100 percent of Aeroflex’s diode business from Cobham for $38 million.
  • IQE PLC during its acquisition of Translucent, Inc., a manufacturer of rare earth oxide materials and devices.
  • TPG Capital in its stock acquisition of Wind River Systems, a leading provider of real-time operating systems in the Internet of Things market, from Intel Corporation, a semiconductor manufacturing company.
  • Mentor Graphics Corporation in its $4.5 billion acquisition by Siemens AG.
  • Deutsche Bank Securities in its role as financial advisor to Sigma Designs, Inc., in Sigma’s $285 million acquisition by Silicon Laboratories. Sigma Designs is a provider of integrated system-on-chip solutions and intelligent platforms for use in various home entertainment and home control appliances.
  • Deutsche Bank Securities in its role as financial advisor to ON Semiconductor Corporation in its $2.4 billion acquisition of Fairchild Semiconductor International Inc.
  • Deutsche Bank Securities in its role as financial advisor to Cohu, Inc. in its acquisition of Xcerra Corporation.
  • Underwriter Barclays Capital in a $50 million follow-on offering for LTX, a global provider of ATE solutions in the semiconductor industry.
  • Co-lead underwriters Barclays Capital and Jefferies in the $230 million IPO of[MACOM?], a provider of analog semiconductor solutions.
  • GT Advanced Technologies in its $80 million acquisition of Confluence Solar, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of single crystal silicon substrates for the solar photovoltaic industry. We also represented GT Advanced Technologies Inc. in its purchase of Thermal Technology LLC and its purchase of Twin Creeks Technologies, Inc.
  • Mimix Broadband, Inc., a leading designer of gallium arsenide semiconductors, in its sale to GaAs Labs.
  • Oakley Capital Investments on its investment in TechInsights, a global technology company that offers intellectual property consulting, patent brokerage services and technical analysis. TechInsights has unparalleled capabilities in semiconductor reverse engineering, which is used to prove patent infringement and understand the technology behind everyday consumer electronics. Its customers, including the top 10 semiconductor companies globally, rely on TechInsights' highly skilled engineers and technical abilities, as well as its proprietary database of technical intelligence.
  • Microsemi Corporation in its successful $2.5 billion “deal jump” for PMC-Sierra, Inc., resulting in the termination of PMC-Sierra’s existing merger agreement with Skyworks Solutions.*
  • Microsemi Corporation in its successful $646 million hostile cross-border takeover bid for Zarlink Semiconductor Inc., a Canadian semiconductor designer and manufacturer.*
  • Microsemi Corporation in its successful hostile offer to acquire AML Communications, resulting in the termination of AML Communications' existing merger agreement with Anaren, Inc.*
  • ASM Pacific Technology Limited in its acquisition of Tel NEXX Inc., a manufacturer of ECD and PVD systems, and other semiconductor process equipment in the U.S. and internationally.
  • MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of Antario Corporation, a manufacturer of photonic integrated circuits.
  • MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. in its acquisition of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation for approximately $630 million in cash and stock. California-based Applied Micro Circuits Corp. provides silicon solutions for next-gen cloud infrastructure and data centers in the U.S. and internationally.
  • MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. in its $60 million acquisition of FiBest Limited, a Japan-based merchant market component supplier of optical subassemblies, from Integral Corporation.
  • Macquarie Greater China Infrastructure Fund in its investment in JinkoSolar Power, a developer of photovoltaic products.
  • Entegris, Inc. in its acquisition of ATMI Inc., a supplier of high-performance materials, materials packaging and materials delivery systems for use in the manufacturing of microelectronics devices worldwide.
  • Kohlberg & Co. in its sale of AGY Shanghai Technology Co., a producer of glass fiber yarns.
  • Mykrolis Corporation, a developer of integrated systems to the semiconductor industry, in its $780 million public merger with Entegris, Inc., the global leader in materials integrity management.
  • Brooks Automation, provider of semiconductor manufacturing solutions, in its acquisition of Helix Technology Corporation.
  • Deutsche Bank Securities in its role as financial advisor to Broadcom in its acquisition of CA Technologies, a software provider for mainframe computers used by banks and other large institutions.
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