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AMD, Intel lawyers spin the spinners' spinning

Intel and AMD have both sent letters to the judge overseeing AMD's antitrust lawsuit complaining about the PR efforts of the other.

Here's a suggestion: let's settle Advanced Micro Devices' antitrust case against Intel during an episode of The Apprentice, and let The Donald sort out the sniping.

One might be forgiven for a sigh of resignation over the latest round of potshots between the two chipmakers, which has now drawn the respective PR reps for each company's legal interests into the debate. This dispute is over the spin attached to Intel's embarrassing remediation report, released on Monday with details on how the company plans to recover missing e-mails believed to be relevant to AMD's antitrust case against Intel. In that filing, Intel published a number of documents under seal with the court that contained the names and titles of employees who were on a list of those required to save their e-mails as part of AMD's discovery process, arguing it saw no need for those names to be public.

The next day, AMD spokesman Mike Silverman sent an e-mail to reporters with this sentence: "Legal counsel for AMD is in the process of studying the report, and a very dense and lengthy package of supporting materials that Intel decided to keep from public view by filing those materials--referred to as "exhibits"--under seal." Intel apparently felt unfairly accused of deception in that e-mail and complained in a letter sent to Judge Vincent Poppiti on Wednesday about AMD's "insinuation," saying that "AMD's hurried action highlights and fully supports the reason why Intel thought it was appropriate to file under seal exhibits to its report that identify the names, titles, and employment status, in total, of more than 1,000 key Intel employees worldwide, many of whom will play no part in this litigation."

This morning, AMD's lawyers fired back with a scathing letter accusing Intel of a "double standard" and "a clear intent by Intel to use the press to advance its argumentation," citing comments made by Intel's Chuck Mulloy (who spells his name with a "u", guys) to a reporter stating that Intel believes it will be able to recover all the e-mails "of genuine significance"--statements that have absolutely nothing to do with the original issue of the sealed exhibits. Silverman sent members of the press an e-mail with both letters attached.

AMD has a slight point regarding the exhibits under seal, in that Intel obviously wants to limit the fallout from its embarassing screw-up over the missing e-mails. The plaintiff says the public has a right to follow the developments of the case, and Intel shouldn't be allowed to file that type of information under seal.

That's the kind of thing a judge can sort out. But with no apparent sense of irony, AMD instead chooses to castigate Intel for "spinning" in an e-mail sent to select members of the press by Silverman with both letters attached--not too far a stretch from "using the press to advance its argumentation." Of course, last we checked, this is exactly what PR people are paid to do.

And after all that, AMD decided not to lodge a formal complaint against Intel, saying, "We have more pressing issues to deal with." When's this trial supposed to start again?