Microchip Technology Inc. of Chandler, Arizona, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Shanghai Haier Integrated Circuit Co. (SHIC) in a Chinese court on Tuesday. The suit alleges that SHIC has made unauthorized copies of the microcode embedded in Microchip's proprietary PIC16CXXX microcontrollers as well as the processor's instructional datasheets. Both are copyrighted in the U.S. and China. "Intellectual property is the backbone of our company and our industry," William Yang, vice president of Microchip in Asia Pacific, said in a statement. "When we find out that our intellectual property has been infringed upon, it is important for us to take action to protect our assets." Microchip also filed a related legal action against Linkage Technology Co. of Hsinchu, Taiwan, SHIC's Taiwanese distributor.