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Sensata Technologies Holding N.V.'s SEC Filings

S-1/A
SENSATA TECHNOLOGIES HOLDING PLC filed this Form S-1/A on 03/09/2010
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with efficient manufacturing methods. Our research, development and engineering investments include research and development costs and the costs of all our engineering-related activities, including costs related to customer-specific customization of our products.

 

We believe that continued focused investment in research, development and engineering activities are critical to our future growth and maintaining our leadership position. Our research, development and engineering efforts are directly related to timely development of new and enhanced products that are central to our core business strategy. We develop our technologies to meet an evolving set of customer requirements and new product introductions.

 

We operate a global network of business centers that allows us to develop new sensing technologies, improve existing technologies and customize our products to the particular needs of our customers. We coordinate our technology research, development and engineering efforts through Centers of Expertise that are designed to maintain a critical mass of intellectual capital in our core technologies and leverage that knowledge in our sensors and controls businesses.

 

We rely primarily on patents and trade secret laws, confidentiality procedures and licensing arrangements to protect our intellectual property rights. While we consider our patents to be valuable assets, we do not believe that our overall competitive position is dependent on patent protection or that our overall operations are dependent upon any single patent or group of related patents. Many of our patents protect specific functionality in our sensors and controls products and others consist of processes or techniques that result in reduced manufacturing costs. Our patents generally relate to improvements on earlier filed Sensata, acquired or competitor patents. We acquired ownership and license rights to a portfolio of patents and patent applications, as well as certain registered trademarks and service marks for discrete product offerings, from Texas Instruments in the 2006 Acquisition. We have also acquired intellectual property in the acquisitions of First Technology Automotive and Airpax. We have continued to have issued to us, and to file for, additional United States and foreign patents since the 2006 Acquisition. As of December 31, 2009, we had approximately 196 U.S. and 190 foreign patents and approximately 25 U.S. and 180 foreign pending patent applications. We do not know whether any of our pending patent applications will result in the issuance of patents or whether the examination process will require us to narrow our claims.

 

The table below sets forth the number of our current U.S. patents that are scheduled to expire in the referenced periods:

 

During the years ending December 31,

   Number of Patents

2010-2014

   40

2015-2019

   72

2020-2024

   61

2025-2028

   23

 

The 40 U.S. patents that will expire between 2010 and 2014 include patents involving pressure sensors, motor controls, semiconductor burn-in-test sockets, thermostats, transmission position switches, temperature sensors, thermal circuit breakers, magnetic-hydraulic circuit breakers and power inverters. Since our core technology platforms, and most of our products, are mature, and our patents generally relate to improvements on earlier filed Sensata, acquired or competitor patents, we do not expect that the expiration of these patents will limit our ability to manufacture and sell such products or otherwise have a material adverse effect on our competitive position.

 

We utilize licensing arrangements with respect to some technology that we use in our sensor products and, to a lesser extent, our control products. We entered into a perpetual, royalty-free cross-license agreement with our former owner, Texas Instruments, in connection with the 2006 Acquisition that permits each party to use specified technology owned by the other party in its business. No license may be terminated under the agreement, even in the event of a material breach. See “Certain Relationships and Related Party Transactions—2006 Acquisition Arrangements—Cross License Agreement.” We also have a material licensing arrangement with

 

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