Innovation at Risk: IP Infringement Challenges the Semiconductor Equipment Industry

SAN JOSE, Calif. — July 24, 2012 — SEMI reported today that over 60 percent of semiconductor equipment and materials companies say that IP challenges have had an adverse impact on their companies.  A company’s intellectual property (IP) is fundamental to its ability to innovate, develop new technologies and methods, and move forward in a competitive industry. SEMI is acutely aware that what distinguishes its key industries from many others is the relatively high percent of revenue that is reinvested into R&D. 

On average, semiconductor equipment and materials companies invest 10-15 percent of their revenues back into R&D each year, with 2011’s R&D investment translating to $9-14 billion.  Both semiconductor equipment and materials companies have unique challenges associated with their IP, but realizing a return on their R&D investment is still essential. 

The SEMI IP survey was sent to a global group of SEMI members and almost half responded. Over 60 percent of companies reported that IP challenges have translated into an adverse impact on their companies. Three-fourths of the companies responding had pursued legal action against IP violators.  In terms of the types of violations experienced, several areas were repeatedly mentioned; patent infringement and counterfeiting were the recurring themes, with some regions more problematic than others. The survey also asked whether the situation in each region was improving, worsening, or staying the same.

This survey information helps SEMI continue benchmarking the global evolution of IP as a key concern, and helps us prioritize our work and actions with governments and partners around the world — helping to raise the bar and level the playing field.

To download the IP White Paper, visit:

About SEMI

SEMI is the global industry association serving the nano- and microelectronics manufacturing supply chains.  Our 2,000 member companies are the engine of the future, enabling smarter, faster and more economical products that improve our lives. Since 1970, SEMI has been committed to helping members grow more profitably, create new markets and meet common industry challenges. SEMI maintains offices in Beijing, Bengaluru, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Moscow, San Jose, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit

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