Winbond Comments On International Trade Commission Findings

Winbond Electronics Corporation announced today that the U. S. International Trade Commission ( ITC ) has issued a Notice of Final Determination and Issuance of Limited Exclusion Order in a case brought by Atmel Corporation against Winbond and other defendants under Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The Limited Exclusion Order prohibits the importation of EPROMs, EEPROMS, flash memories, and flash microcontroller semiconductor devices, that infringe claims 1 or 9 of the 4,451,903 Patent, and circuit boards containing such devices, that are manufactured by or on behalf of Winbond and the other defendants. The President of the United States has up to sixty (60) days to review the Limited Exclusion Order. In the meantime, Winbond is entitled to continue to import into the United States the excluded products subject to the condition set forth in the Limited Exclusion Order. However, even if the President approves the Limited Exclusion Order, the duration of the Limited Exclusion Order is only 11 months because the patent that the ITC found to have been infringed by Winbond and other defendants will expire on September 18, 2001.

Winbond is quite surprised and disappointed with the ITC's decision to issue the Limited Exclusion Order. The ITC investigation began in 1996 and was terminated on July 2, 1998, after a full investigation. The ITC at that time found no violation by Winbond and other defendants of Section 337 of the Tariff Act. Atmel filed a notice of appeal and the case was ultimately remanded to the ITC. After a second hearing, the Administrative Law Judge of the ITC again found in favor of Winbond and other defendants. In an unusual move by the ITC, it over-ruled its Administrative Law Judge on three separate issues and found in favor of Atmel Corporation.

Winbond is committed to its customers and will work with customers to ensure uninterrupted business supply during the allowed period. Winbond has vigorously defended the ITC investigation after it was initiated and will continue to defend against the issuance of the Limited Exclusion Order, which Winbond considers to be erroneous and without any basis in law.

    Wilson Wen
    Vice President of Administrative Center

News Liaison
    Mike Liu
    Deputy Director

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