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Intel, Broadcom settle trade secret lawsuits

The chipmakers say they have settled dueling trade secret lawsuits, although legal battles between the two companies are not yet over.

Intel and Broadcom on Tuesday said they have settled dueling trade secret lawsuits, although the legal battles between the two chipmakers are not yet over.

The settlement ends a lawsuit Intel filed in March over the hiring of several former workers by Broadcom and also settles a cross-complaint by Broadcom, which had sought to block Intel from shipping some of its latest networking chips. Terms of the agreement were not released.

Both sides claimed victory in May after a Santa Clara, Calif., Superior Court judge ruled that three former Intel workers could be hired by Broadcom but appointed a monitor to ensure that no Intel trade secrets were divulged. A judge heard arguments on Broadcom's counterclaim earlier this month but had yet to issue a ruling.

However, Intel still has a separate patent infringement case in U.S. District Court in Delaware. In that action, Intel charges that Broadcom violated five Intel patents, one relating to networking, one to chip packaging and three to video compression. Broadcom chief executive Henry Nicholas issued a statement blasting that move as an effort to slow competition.

Both companies said in a statement Tuesday that they are "satisfied" with the settlement. Although the deal remains confidential, both companies said the three former Intel workers that were hired by Broadcom continue to work there.

Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said that, in general, Intel prefers to settle litigation when possible.

"We look for a way to settle these matters," Mulloy said. "We are pleased we are able to do that in this case."

Broadcom spokesman Bill Blanning would not comment beyond the release.

Intel was an early investor in Broadcom, although relations between the two chip companies have grown increasingly icy.