Tessera Loses Patent Ruling, Stock Dives

The U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that competitors did not infringe chip-packaging patents owned by Tessera Technologies, sending the semiconductor vendor's stock down nearly 10 percent at the end of trading on Monday.

Tessera filed an ITC complaint against ATI Technologies, Freescale Semiconductor, Motorola, Spansion, Qualcomm, and ST Microelectronics, that alleged these companies infringed on two patents. The ITC ruling, by an administrative law judge (ALJ), found that Tessera's patents are valid but were not infringed upon.

In response, Tessera issued a statement saying the company was "disappointed" by the finding. The company said it would review the ITC ruling before deciding how to respond. The ruling must be reviewed by the ITC and Tessera has the opportunity to present additional information to bolster its claims, the company noted.

Rivals expressed relief at the judge's finding.

"Qualcomm has maintained from the outset of the case that our chip packages do not infringe Tessera's patents and we are pleased that the ALJ has agreed with our position," the company said in a statement.

News of the ALJ's decision sent Tessera's stock price reeling, despite the company raising its fourth-quarter revenue guidance to a range of US$67 million to $69 million. The previous revenue forecast, issued Oct. 30, put fourth-quarter revenue in a range between $60 million to $62 million.

Tessera stock closed at US$16.62 per share on Monday, down 9.6 percent.

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