2024-05-07 Realtek’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against MediaTek in the U.S. Dismissed

May 7, 2024, 12:52 – United Daily News
Compiled by Liu Zhongyong

Realtek (2379) filed an antitrust lawsuit against MediaTek (2454) in the United States, which was dismissed by the court on Monday. Realtek accused MediaTek and a patent owner of colluding to file baseless lawsuits in an attempt to force Realtek out of the smart TV chip market.

Realtek filed the lawsuit in the U.S. in June 2023, alleging that the licensing agreement between MediaTek and IPValue Management’s subsidiary, FLS, secretly encouraged FLS to sue Realtek. Subsequently, FLS filed four lawsuits against Realtek.

However, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge P. Casey Pitts, in a ruling issued on May 3, stated, “The litigation cited by Realtek as the basis for its claims involves petitioning protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and under the so-called Noerr-Pennington doctrine, cannot form the basis of federal antitrust or related state law claims.”

Pitts also rejected Realtek’s assertion that these lawsuits constituted “sham litigation,” an exception to the Noerr-Pennington doctrine. Realtek argued that the number of lawsuits filed by FLS in Texas and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), combined with the harassing nature of the litigation, should exempt them from the Noerr-Pennington protection.

However, Pitts stated that Realtek failed to demonstrate that these lawsuits imposed a “significant burden” on its business. He also mentioned that invoking the “sham exception” based solely on four lawsuits was questionable.

Pitts gave Realtek 21 days to amend and refile its complaint.

Both Realtek and MediaTek manufacture chips used in smart TVs and set-top boxes. According to Realtek, MediaTek holds nearly 60% of the global market share for TV chips.

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