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Intel squashes VLSI-based patent dispute

by on29 December 2022

Total victory for Chipzilla

Intel and VLSI Technology have ended a $4 billion patent dispute after Chipzilla's might briefs appear to have trampled the patent licencing outfit.

The move means that Chipzilla can breathe again as it has already lost $3 billion in failed patent disputes to VLSI over the past few years.

This case started in 2018 and alleged that Intel had infringed on five VLSI-owned patents governing things like secure communications, power optimisation and delivery, and flip-chip interconnects.

Despite early successes in chipmaking, VLSI is a patent troll owned by SoftBank's Fortress Investment Group, and appears to exist solely to sue chipmakers it believes have violated its intellectual property.

VLSI also agreed to a covenant not to sue. So, in addition to not being able to refile the case, it's agreed not to sue Intel's partners over these specific patents. And, at least according to the court documents, Intel did not pay any money to make the case go away either so it looks like a total victory for its might briefs.

Part of the reason was that in April, Chief Judge Colm Connolly issued a standing order to disclose the names of VLSI's owners, members, and partners to the court. VLSI's disclosures were found to be lacking, leading Connolly to question whether the case should be dismissed.

VLSI's behavior recently caught the attention of the US Patent and Trademark Office, which in October said it would investigate the validity of the company's patents. The review has the potential to overturn a previous $2.18 billion verdict against Intel.


Last modified on 29 December 2022
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