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Long Live Patent Power!
by David Ruzga

"We believe that Cypress is not infringing on the Lemelson patents...to be accused of something you don't believe you are doing makes you feel righteously indignant." -Drew Fortney, legal counsel for Cypress Semiconductor Corp.

When it comes to patents, Jerome H. Lemelson made his mark in a big way. The only one that claimed more was the king Mr. Thomas Edison. But, what Lemelson did with his patents was completely different. What his patents continue to do to this day, even after his death, is repeatedly tests the will and nerve of several corperations. Louis Hoffman, the Lemelson Foundation Partnership's patent attorney states his personal disappointment is what the many, many lawsuits have done to Mr. Lemelson's reputation.But he also goes on to say that at the same time many look at his inventions and are very impressed.

Never the less, in short, Mr. Lemelson has had to sue almost every major high-tech coperation in the country. Some of these companies include Intel Corporation, Texas Instruments, Compaq Computer Corp., Nintendo Co. Ltd., and Xerox Corp. to name a few. The thing about all of this is that the Lemelson Foundation Partnership has been successful at doing so. Even Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and Chrysler Corp. all eventually settled out of court during there confrontation.

There is company still holding out and fighting to the end. This brave soldier would be a company by the name of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. in San Jose, CA. Legal Counsel for Cypress Drew Fortney was quoted stating "We aren't too happy about having a legal gun pointed at our heads...When someone has an IP that we want, we will pay a license. But we believe that Cypress is not infringing on the Lemelson patents...to be accused of something you don't believe you are doing makes you feel righteously indignant." Mr. Fortney views Lemelson as a type of bully. "But with Lemelson, the patent is their product. They walk in with a loaded gun and extract money" says Fortney.

Hoffman isn't commenting on much but does go on to say that when licensing is in question, rates are determined by the company in question's size. He also claims most companies are satisfied with this method and usually pay the fees all at once. (so why are they always in court?-David)

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