STMicroelectronics, a leading European chipmaker, has been held accountable for violating Purdue University’s patent related to transistor technology. This ruling, delivered by a jury in a West Texas court, resulted in a $32.5 million damages verdict. The jury supported Purdue’s argument that ST’s use of silicon carbide metal oxide semiconductor field effect transistors (MOSFETs) in electric-vehicle chargers and other devices breached the university’s patent rights specifically pertaining to transistors designed for “high-voltage power applications.” In response, an ST spokesperson announced the company’s plan to challenge the verdict by filing an appeal.
MOSFETs play a critical role in electronic devices by controlling and amplifying electricity flow. Purdue initiated the lawsuit against ST in 2021, alleging that the company’s MOSFETs infringed upon two of its transistor technology patents. However, one of Purdue’s patents was removed from the case by the university in West Lafayette, Indiana last year. ST contested the accusations, arguing that the remaining Purdue patent was invalid.
The legal dispute is known as Purdue University v. STMicroelectronics International N.V. and was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas under case No. 6:21-cv-00727.