Some 50 witnesses--including Intel's Andy Grove and Craig Barrett, former Digital CEO Robert Palmer, AltaVista CEO Rod Schrock, and other titans--will appear in the action brought by the FTC against Intel.
The proceeding, which begins on March 9, is now expected to last approximately two to three months, according to sources, beyond the six- to eight-week estimate floated earlier.
Although the witnesses list will be lengthy, the trial will not likely contain evidentiary bombshells, predicted Peter Detkin, general counsel for Intel.
"You won't find the evidence that you have in the Microsoft trial," he said.
The trial's central issue is whether Intel is a monopolist that coerces intellectual property out of its competitors and customers, or just a blunt negotiator.
The FTC alleges that Intel used a dominant, monopolistic position in microprocessors to force three companies--Intergraph, Digital, and Compaq--to license intellectual property against their will. When these companies asserted intellectual property rights against Intel, Intel cut off these companies from product information and other materials each needed to compete in the server and/or desktop market. The information pipeline only came back on after the companies signed licensing agreements, the government contends.
These acts essentially deprived the three companies of their legal rights, according to William Baer, the FTC's chief investigator, and dimmed independent innovation in the chip market.
Intel's response is, "What monopoly?" The company has been losing market share to AMD and others all year, according Detkin.
Furthermore, Intel claims that its dealings with the three companies had little, if any, effect on the overall microprocessor market. To prove its point, Intel will present statements, or live testimony, from competitors National Semiconductor, Sun, and Integrated Device Technology.
Additionally, the company maintains that acted within its rights when it cut off the three companies from its information pipeline. "Did we withhold our intellectual property from Intergraph? Yes," he said.
Even if no scandalous emails or other evidence emerges in the trial, the witness lists indicates that the there should be no shortage of interesting things said about the inner workings of the semiconductor industry. Some of the more prominent witnesses appearing for the FTC:
Intel's witness list reads like a company roster. Among the names: