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Chinese chip manufacturer Yangtze Memory Technologies (YMTC) is accusing its U.S. competitor Micron Technology of patent infringement. The company is taking the allegation to the U.S. courts.

According to Reuters, YTMC is accusing Micron Technology of patent infringement on eight of its patents. The U.S. chipmaker allegedly did so to fend off competition from the Chinese manufacturer and protect its market share. Micron Technology allegedly failed to pay a fair amount specifically for the use of the patents.

Micron Technology is a producer of DRAM and NAND flash memory and competes primarily with manufacturers such as Samsung, SK Hynix and the Kioxia. YMTC is a smaller producer of these types of chips, but has been under US export restrictions on certain components since last year.

Part of crisis between US and China?

The lawsuit can be seen in the larger context of the dispute between the US and China over the export of US-sensitive technology, such as chips. China indicated earlier this year that Micron Technology failed a certain network security test and banned prominent Chinese infrastructure companies from buying and using chips from the manufacturer.

Back in 2018, another chip manufacturer of Chinese origin accused the U.S. manufacturer of stealing trade secrets. Later that year, Micron Technology’s products were hit by a temporary Chinese sales ban.

Continuing to want to invest in China

It is also notable that Micron Technology in particular is being targeted, as the company was very active in China until last year and once drew most of its sales from that country. In 2022, the American manufacturer closed its DRAM operations in Shanghai. However, it does plan to invest more in its chip packaging plant in Xian city in the coming years.

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