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Cardiff-based semiconductor manufacturer IQE plc has filed a lawsuit against Israeli chip company Tower Semiconductor.

The IQE lawsuit alleges Tower Semiconductor has “unlawfully” obtained patents regarding its 5G and advanced sensing technology.

IQE has filed the complaint in the US Federal Court in California. In a statement on its website it said:

“We brought about these claims as we have significant reason to believe that Tower has misappropriated IQE’s proprietary trade secrets for its own benefit.

“Our technology, processes and intellectual property are vital in underpinning IQE’s products and solutions and in maintaining our market-leading position in advanced semiconductor materials.

“We will vigorously protect them and will provide further updates as material developments occur.”

IQE plc is listed on the AIM Stock Exchange in London. It produces advanced wafer products and material solutions to the global semiconductor industry.

When contacted by UKTN, a Tower Semiconductor spokesperson said:

“Tower strongly rejects IQE’s baseless claims. Tower did not misappropriate any trade secrets and is the rightful owner of all of its patents.

“Tower is disputing these claims in court to protect its rights and intellectual property. Additionally, although Tower has every right to do so, Tower does not use porous Silicon technology for any of its customers or in any of its production flows.”

The lawsuit underscores the critical role of semiconductor businesses. Cambridge-founded semiconductor company Arm is the subject of much speculation over the location of its initial public offering, with politicians and British tech stakeholders calling for the company to list in London instead of New York.

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