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Trade watchdog ends probe into KAIST-Apple patent dispute

All News 15:24 April 25, 2019

SEJONG, April 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's trade watchdog said Thursday it has decided to end its probe into a semiconductor patent dispute between a local institution and Apple Inc., as they have reached a settlement.

The Korea Trade Commission under the industry ministry said KIP, an intellectual property management firm under the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), requested the watchdog to suspend the investigation, which was first filed in December 2017.

KIP earlier claimed that Taiwan-based TSMC, which produces application processors (AP) for Apple, infringed KAIST's FinFET processing technology patent. The investigation covered the iPhone 6S, 7, 8 and X series, along with the iPad and iPad Pro tablets.

FinFET process technology, which uses a three-dimensional structure, is applied on APs, which are considered the brains of smartphones and tablet PCs. TSMC is a foundry firm that produces chips for companies that do not have semiconductor plants.

The commission said the two parties reached the settlement, although detailed terms were not disclosed.


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