Trespass Tuesdays: Phenix Longhorn, LLC v. Texas Instruments, Inc.

  by: Patrick Anderson | January 30, 2018

According to a federal complaint filed on January 23, 2018, LCD display components incorporated into numerous display products sold by Apple, Philips, LG and others actually rely on technology stolen by Texas Instruments. Richard Orlando and Trevor Blyth created integrated circuits directed at gamma correction for thin-film transistor flat panel displays. Orlando was president of Alta Analog, a competitor to TI.

In 2012, he provided TI’s Chief Technology Officer with an overview of Alta’s Pgamma integrated circuit and US Patent 7,233,305. Rather than acquire Alta’s technology legitimately, Phenix alleges that TI incorporated patented technology into a series of IC products that TI subsequently sold to major industry players.

Unable to compete with behemoths like TI, Alta ultimately shuttered its doors and was forced into bankruptcy.  The ‘305 Patent was assigned to Phenix as part of an apparent pivot into licensing. Orlando, as president of Phenix, now continues to fight for respect of his intellectual property rights, as alleged trespass by large incumbent IC providers continues to wreak financial havoc on property owners.

Every Tuesday, IP Wire will highlight significant cases of intellectual trespass by some of the world’s the largest and most powerful companies. These illegal acts hamper commercialization efforts, as research and educational institutions simply lack the resources to compete with massive incumbents. In the case of public universities, public funds create technology and property rights, only to be stolen by massive incumbent organizations. In other cases, property rights stem from research by publicly subsidized, not-for-profit organizations. Companies who illegally use this technology without compensation are, in effect, stealing from the public, while entities that dare assert their rights are vilified in the media. IP Wire’s mission, and we choose to accept, is to get out in front of these stories and expose these actions for what they are: harmful and illegal.

 

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