Analog Devices announced that Knowles Electronics' patents have been found invalid by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge. The company said that the ITC ruled decisively against Knowles Electronics and administrative Law Judge Robert K. Rogers, Jr. concluded that Knowles’ patents were invalid. According to the company, Judge Rogers determined that Analog Devices should not be prohibited from importing or selling its microphones.
This ruling followed Judge Rogers' March 24th order denying Knowles’ request for temporary relief. Analog Devices also states that Judge Rogers’ two rulings are consistent with the position taken by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which in separate reexaminations, has rejected all of Knowles’ asserted claims as invalid.
"Since bringing our first MEMS microphone products to market in 2008, ADI has maintained our focus on innovation and providing the highest performance MEMS microphones available. Our products are designed for many applications where small size and great sound quality go hand in hand," commented Mark Martin, Analog Devices’ Vice President, MEMS and Sensor Technology Group. "We are gratified that Judge Rodgers has twice agreed with our position in this matter."
Separately, Analog Devices has sued Knowles for shipping microphone products which infringe ADI’s patented Wafer Anti-Stiction Application (WASA) process. This case is pending in the U.S. District Court of Delaware and Judge Rogers is expected to rule on the WASA case on or before January 4, 2011.
Analog Devices says that it is already shipping its MEMS microphones in volume to customers in target consumer and non-consumer applications, according to Kieran Harney, Product Line Director for MEMS microphones at the company. "By integrating a MEMS transducer with an audio ASIC, [our] MEMS microphones optimize system designs with more control over the full solution and value chain. [Our] MEMS microphones and their many performance advantages will differentiate and radically change acoustic input designs in future electronics devices," Harney said.