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NOV.-DEC. 2019       TAP TIMES          -7-         transfer molding.  This is done by the rapid
                                                                injection of liquid plastic under pressure to
                  Bottom-gating  (from 6)                       encapsulate a product in a mold.  A ther-
                                                                mosetting plastic, which melts with heat,
        The ITC’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)                and then hardens upon cooling is used.
        conducted evidentiary hearings, during
        which the fi ve competing chip makers
        complained the ‘027 patent was invalid                  A historical process
        due to “obviousness, and was not in-                    In reviewing the TI patent, the ITC found
        fringed.”                                               that transfer molding was introduced as
                                                                far back as 1926.

        Grandparent patent application                          By the early 1960s, makers of diodes and
        The ‘027 patent dates back to Dec. 16,                  transistors had begun an industry-wide
        1963, when the inventors fi led a grandpar-             drive to develop low cost, mass-produced
        ent patent application on behalf of their               transistors that could be sold cheaply.
        employer TI.
                                                                Industry leaders, the ITC found, were
        During the course of the litigation, TI al-             pushing to improve “upon their costly
        leged that the fi ve semiconductor defen-               existing method of encapsulation, called
        dants had infringed only four of the 17                 the”header and can process,” which con-
        claims in the patent:  Claims 1, 12, 14 and                                                    Next page
        17.  The patent is based on the use of

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