Among the remedies it sought was to stop Micron from making, importing or selling the allegedly infringing products and also destroy all inventory and pay compensation. Micron, naturally, disagrees with UMC's claims, and in an interesting twist has issued a statement of its own claiming to have not yet been served with any such injunction.
As evidence, Micron cited the use of Micron DRAM technology code names at a UMC and Jinhua recruitment fair for RAM chip experts in Silicon Valley in October 2016 and its discovery that its employees poached by UMC had copied confidential information before leaving the company. Micron, the largest American maker of memory chips, recently confirmed that it was under investigation, sparking fears that it would become entangled in the mushrooming trade conflict between China and U.S.
UMC co-president Jason Wang, commented, "UMC is pleased with today's decision".
The two chipmakers have been at loggerheads since December a year ago when Micron filed a civil lawsuit in the state of California, accusing UMC of secret infringement of intellectual property related to its DRAM chips. "UMC invests heavily in its intellectual property and aggressively pursues any company that infringes UMC's patents".
UMC, a contract chip manufacturer, plans to list its China operations on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
"The central government of China has often stated that the rights of foreign companies are fairly and equally protected in China", Micron said in the statement.
"I think that China is using this case as a payback against the USA", said Ho in an interview with the Taiwan branch of New York-based broadcaster New Tang Dynasty Television.
China accounts for a quarter of the global memory chip market. In 2017, Micron generated about half of its $20.3 billion fiscal revenue from China.
UMC shares rose more than 3 per cent in early trading on Wednesday. If the ban is enacted, Micron's competitors, including Samsung, SK Hynix, WDC, Intel, Toshiba and the new entrant YMTC would be benefited. Because China cannot replace Micron's supply of chips with its own domestically produced chips, this could ultimately lead to a reversal of the court's ban, according to an unnamed official in South Korea's semiconductor industry, in an interview with South Korean news portal Business Korea.
The Court has not yet indicated when a final ruling on the case can be expected, nor for how long the injunction on sales is valid. These Chinese companies would all need to find another supplier to meet their demand.
Analysts said the ruling would bolster Micron's well-established rivals.