Analysis

Settlement of lawsuit against HiLight and related defendants

3rd August 2018
Lanna Cooper

Supplier of high performance analogue and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms, Semtech has announced the settlement of a lawsuit filed against HiLight Semiconductor ('HiLight') and related individual Defendants in accordance with which Semtech is to be paid approximately $9m to cover damages for claims, costs and attorneys’ fees.

In 2016 Semtech’s subsidiaries, EMEA Limited ('Semtech') and Gennum UK Ltd., commenced legal proceedings in the English High Court against HiLight and various former Semtech employees subsequently employed by HiLight.

The individual Defendants in the proceedings at the time of settlement were:

  • John Gary Steele
  • Patrick Richard
  • Michael Vandenberg
  • Derek Hutchins
  • George Brocklehurst
  • Dominique Coué, and
  • Robin Commander.

Among various claims, Semtech alleged that Mr. Steele and the other individual Defendants had (i) breached various non-competition and/or non-solicitation obligations and induced other individuals to do the same, and (ii) taken intellectual property and other proprietary information from Semtech in breach of confidence and used that confidential information to design competing transimpedence amplifier (TIA) products for HiLight.

Mohan Maheswaran, Semtech’s President and CEO, commented: “We are pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit and are resolute in our belief that our innovation, intellectual property and trade secrets need to be vigorously protected across all regions of the world, and we will seek to defend the company against any unfair practices that we believe hurts our shareholder value.”

In settlement of the claims, Semtech is to be paid approximately $9m, of which Semtech already has received approximately $6.7m.

The prior guidance provided by Semtech for its second quarter of fiscal year 2019 did not reflect any impact of this settlement. Any queries regarding the legal proceeding should be directed to Semtech’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Charles B. Ammann.

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