Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reverse Engineering Merger

EE Times reports (link) that United Business Media has acquired Shanghai-based Sanguine and will merge it with United Business Media's own Semiconductor Insights (SI). Both Sanguine and SI are in the business of reverse engineering chips to provide information on the technology used in the design and what patents might be involved. This type of reverse engineering is perfectly legal and legitimate. However, one of my industry sources alleges that Sanguine also engages in good ole fashioned reverse engineering to create copies of chips for local customers. Whether or not this allegation is true, China still offers a large market for such services given its porous IPR regime. If Sanguine were engaging in such activities, one could imagine that these activities might create some difficulties during the process of Sanguine being brought under SI's managerial control. After all, Ottawa-based SI operates under a much stricter IPR regime in Canada than the IPR regime in effect in China.

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