Foxconn Electronics has filed suit against Molex in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleging a range of business torts and anti-competitive behavior, including tortious interference with prospective business advantage, deceptive trade practices, breach of contract, and anti-trust violations.
The lawsuit alleges that Molex has made false and misleading statements to Foxconn’s customers and prospective customers indicating that Foxconn’s DisplayPort products which use through-hole technology are not licensed and infringe Molex’s patent rights. Foxconn alleges that Molex’s conduct is wrongful and contrary to Molex’s valid and binding agreements which license to Foxconn all of Molex’s patent claims necessary to implement the DisplayPort interface standard, including those claims that permit use of through-hole technology for interface intermateability of electronic circuits. Foxconn seeks damages, injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment.
Foxconn claims that Molex granted Foxconn a license to patent claims necessary to implement the DisplayPort. The “necessary claims” Molex licensed include what is known in the industry as surface mount technology (“SMT”) and through-hole mounting technology (“TH”), which are different methods for mounting electronic circuits.
According to Foxconn, despite the valid and binding license, Molex sent letters and/or made oral statements to Foxconn’s customers and prospective customers, asserting that Foxconn is acting outside the scope of the license and is infringing Molex’s patents with respect to Foxconn’s DisplayPort products that use TH.
“We believe that Molex’s wrongful and anti-competitive actions have cost Foxconn significant business and have created unwarranted uncertainty regarding Foxconn’s rights to manufacture and sell its DisplayPort Interface products,” stated Edmund Ding, Foxconn’s spokesperson. “Foxconn obtained a valid license from Molex and could not stand idly by and permit Molex to deny our legitimate rights while interfering with our business relationships. Foxconn will vigorously assert all legal measures necessary to protect its legitimate business interests.”