Transmeta sues Intel for patent infringement

Is this a crazy world we live in or what? Transmeta, the company that devised a processor that could run software designed for so-called x86 chips, is suing Intel, who invented x86, for patent infringement.

Transmeta came out with its first chips in 2000 that could work inside Intel-based computers. Unlike other x86 vendors, however, Transmeta never had a patent license from Intel. AMD or National Semiconductor, who made x86 chips at that time, did have a license. At the time, some expected Intel to file suit against Transmeta.

A couple of product delays, layoffs and CEO changes later, Transmeta refashioned itself into an intellectual property firm. It licenses its patents and occasionally goes to court.

The company says Intel violated ten of its patents and that the intellectual property behind these patents is embodied in $100 billion worth of chips sold by Intel. The claim extends back to the Pentium III, a flagship chip in the late 90s.

Intel could not be reached for comment yet.

Although one of the more prolific companies when it comes to obtaining patents, Intel has also found itself as a defendant in several intellectual property suits in the last few years. Intergraph brought suits against Intel and ultimately for over $600 million. Patriot Semiconductor, a listing company with only a few employees, has also sued Intel.

Read the full story here.

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About the author

    Michael Kanellos is editor at large at CNET News.com, where he covers hardware, research and development, start-ups and the tech industry overseas.

     

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