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EPC Sues China-Based Innoscience in Federal Court and the ITC for Patent Infringement

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Ashok Bindra
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El Segundo, California based Efficient Power Conversion Corporation (EPC), a global supplier of gallium nitride (GaN) FETs and power ICs, has filed complaints in federal court and in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Guangdong China based Innoscience (Zhuhai) Technology Company, Ltd. and its affiliates (collectively, Innoscience). EPC is asserting that Innoscience infringed four patents of its foundational patent portfolio, covering core aspects of the design and manufacturing process of the company’s proprietary enhancement- mode GaN (eGaN) power semiconductor devices. According to EPC, these patents encompass innovations that enabled GaN-based power devices to mature from a research project to a mass- producible high-volume alternative to silicon-based transistors and integrated circuits (ICs) with GaN devices having higher efficiency, smaller size, and lower cost.

According to EPC, the four U.S. Patent numbers involved in this lawsuit are 8,350,294 (“the 294 Patent”); 8,404,508 (“the 508 Patent”); 9,748,347 (“the 347 Patent”); and 10,312,335 (“the 335 Patent”), respectively. Consequently, EPC is seeking damages and barring Innoscience from importing its infringing suite of GaN products into the United States.

Per EPC’s press release, Innoscience recruited two EPC employees to serve as its chief technology officer (CTO) and head of sales and marketing. Shortly thereafter, Innoscience introduced a suite of products visibly identical to EPC’s, boasting virtually equal performance across key performance metrics. “More recently, Innoscience has claimed that many of its products have “pin-to-pin compatibility with existing products,” including EPC’s products, in a bold and aggressive campaign to market its suite of products to EPC’s customers,” stated EPC.

“I have always been a believer in fair cooperation as the foundation of global technology markets,” said Alex Lidow, EPC’s co-founder and CEO. “Only through cooperation can we unlock the potential of GaN technology and meet the world’s energy security and sustainability goals. Strong protections and respect for intellectual property are essential to that trust and cooperation, noted Lidow.” “I am confident that, through these decisive actions, we will reach a fair and reasonable resolution that levels the playing field and ensures a GaN ecosystem that works for all participants in this critical emerging technology,” added Lidow.

In 2010, EPC began making the first mass -produced commercial GaN transistors and integrated circuits (ICs). Since then, the company has grown into a recognized manufacturer in GaN products and services. Currently, it holds 57 U.S. patents and 172 patents worldwide. Plus, it offers over 100 ICs and discrete eGaN transistors available for off-the-shelf delivery, and its products consistently outperform competitors’.

Meanwhile, Innoscience has responsed to ‘EPC lawsuit with statements on its website In a statement, the company said on its website that it will contest lawsuits with full force. Unlike EPC, which uses external foundry to produce its GaN devices on 6-in wafers, Innoscience is a vertically integrated device manufacturer with 8-inch GaN-on-Silicon wafer manufacturing facility. Recently, at the 2023 Applied Power Electronics Conference and Exposition (APEC), held in Orlando, Florida from 19 – 23 March, Innoscience unveiled its GaN FET technology to several U.S. industry players, including EPC representatives.

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