Transmeta Sues Intel For Patent Infringement

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According to an online source, California based Transmeta alleges that Intel violated 10 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 P6 generation of chips, which includes the Pentium Pro and Pentium II, and forward to the latest Core 2 Duo processors.

Intel’s alleged patent infringement apparently relates to the area of power efficiency. Transmeta alleges that Intel infringed on one of its patents when it inserted a technology called “enhanced SpeedStep” into its models, said John Horsely, Transmeta’s general counsel.

Other patents relate to things like instruction scheduling and other microarchitecture issues. Transmeta’s patents were filed over a 10-year period, starting in 1991 (which predates the Pentium Pro) and going through 2000. Horsely said the suit is not barred by the statute of limitations.

Whilst Transmeta allege that Intel has infringed on it’s patents,  it’s interesting to note that  Transmeta has:

*Regularly lost millions of dollars a year. Between January 1998 and June 2005, it posted accumulated losses of $635 million on revenue of $134 million.

*Gone through several rounds of layoffs and changed its CEO three times before refashioning itself into an intellectual property firm last year.

Not that the above information should have any bearing on the impending case, but it certainly gets one thinking.

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