Friday, January 22, 2010

AMEC's settlement with Applied Materials

AMEC has reached an out-of-court settlement with Applied over patent infringement (link). While the amount of money AMEC has agreed to paid Applied has not been disclosed, I am tempted to think that this is a victory for AMEC i.e. they remain in business. China clearly is trying to promote its semiconductor capital equipment sector along with its semiconductor fabrication and AMEC is one of the most promising firms in China's semiconductor capital equipment sector. While Taiwan's attempts to leverage its large investment in semiconductor fabrication to enter the capital equipment sector (including lots of pressure on Applied according to insiders I've talked to) failed, China given its scale may be more successful. Of course, China's tendency to botch its industrial policy may work against realizing these dreams, but one day we might look back at this settlement as the beginning of the rise of China's semiconductor capital equipment industry.

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