Crocus Technology S.A., a leading developer of magnetically enhanced semiconductor technologies for mobile security, embedded microcontrollers, harsh environment electronics and magnetic sensors, today announces that the board of the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a preliminary decision in favor of a petition filed by Crocus to seek the Inter Partes Review against US Patent 6,980,469. The patent is for high speed low-power magnetic devices based on future induced spin-momentum transfer technologies, which are included in the patent portfolio held by Spin Transfer Technologies Inc. (STT). Crocus petitioned to cancel all or part of said patent.
Upon consideration of the petition and STT’s preliminary response, the board of the US Patent and Trademark Office has determined that there is a “reasonable likelihood” that Crocus will prevail with respect to its challenge of Patent 469 and that most of the claims could be cancelled.
Crocus currently holds 154 patents. The company’s licensing business to foundries and design houses around the world is significant. Among Crocus’ licensing partners is TowerJazz, a global specialty foundry, which is helping to speed the adoption of Crocus’ non-volatile memory (NVM). TowerJazz has also started manufacturing Crocus’ magnetic sensors.
In the petition filed in October 2013, Crocus explains that the patent at issue describes a technology already included in prior art, in particular in the patent portfolio of Crocus, which includes STT technology (Spin Torque Transfer). Crocus has already patented the aforementioned technology that makes advanced non-volatile memory blocks more efficient.
Crocus’ technology is ideal for producing highly robust and secure embedded memory more easily. In addition, it enables customers to develop magnetic sensors that bring high sensitivity, low-noise and high temperature performance, amongst other advantages, all in high demand. Crocus has invested significantly in the development of this technology. The associated products are expected to have a major impact on the market.
“We are very pleased with the preliminary decision the board of the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued in favor of our petition,” said Bertrand Cambou, executive chairman and CEO of Crocus Technology. “Crocus has invested many years in building a solid IP portfolio of technologies to bring performance and cost advantages to consumer and industrial applications. Our strong portfolio of patents covers the design and manufacturing of the Magnetic Logic Unit(TM) (MLU) as well as generic technologies like STT (Spin Torque Transfer). Crocus will take all the necessary steps to protect its IP.”
About Crocus Technology
Crocus Technology is a leading developer of magnetically enhanced semiconductor technologies for mobile security, embedded microcontrollers, harsh environment electronics and magnetic sensors. Crocus has pioneered Magnetic Logic Unit(TM) (MLU), a disruptive CMOS-based rugged magnetic technology. MLU offers important advantages in high speed, security and robust performance at lower cost for its broadening portfolio of embedded products and non-volatile memory blocks. It licenses its MLU architecture to TowerJazz and other foundries for integration in production processes. Crocus is gearing up to market standalone, tamper-resistant MLU-based microcontrollers it is developing with IBM. These fast read and write small footprint MLU products enhance the performance and security of chips for smart cards, mobile phones and data servers. Crocus has begun shipping its magnetic sensor products that bring high sensitivity, low-noise, low-cost and high temperature performance (250 degrees Celsius) for consumer and industrial applications to selected customers