MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. v. Infineon Technologies Americas Corp., No. 17-1448 (Fed. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
MACOM’s predecessor developed semiconductors using gallium nitride (GaN), obtained patents related to that technology, and sold those patents to Infineon's predecessor, retaining rights under separate license agreement. That agreement defines a “Field of Use” characterized by GaN-on-silicon technology and licenses MACOM to practice the GaN patents within the “Field of Use only.” MACOM and Infineon share rights to practice the patents in the Field of Use. The agreement defines an “Exclusive Field” within the Field of Use in which MACOM has exclusive rights to practice the patents—even as against Infineon. Infineon notified MACOM that it believed MACOM had breached the agreement by making and selling products using GaN-on-silicon-carbide technology, which is distinct from GaN-on-Si technology and outside the Field of Use. MACOM responded that the GaN-on-SiC sales were minimal and that any breach had been cured. Infineon terminated the Agreement. MACOM sued, asserting contract claims and seeking a declaratory judgment of noninfringement and obtained a preliminary injunction. The Federal Circuit affirmed in part, agreeing that MACOM could likely establish that its activity outside the Field of Use did not breach the agreement and that MACOM would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction. The court vacated two sentences in the injunction for lacking specificity.