Intel files counterclaim, countersuit against Via

Intel Corp. continued the battle with its legal sparring partner Via Technologies Inc. earlier this month, asking for a summary judgement in an earlier suit by Via and at the same time filing further patent suits against the company.

The claims were the latest step in a legal battle between the two companies that started in September. At that time, following months of verbal sparring in the media, Intel sued Via for patent infringements on one of its chip sets. Via's P4X266 chip set lets computer manufacturers couple DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous Dynamic RAM) with Intel's Pentium 4. At that time, Intel was still only supporting RDRAM (Rambus DRAM) with its own chip sets. After more legal and verbal sparring between the two companies, Via sued Intel in a U.S. District Court in Texas, claiming that Intel's Pentium 4 processor infringes on technology Via uses in its C3 processor.

On Oct. 5, Intel filed a counterclaim against Via, asking the court for a summary judgement in that case, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said Thursday. Requests for summary judgements are based on statements and evidence submitted to the court before a case has come to trial. Judgements are granted when the judge determines there is no issue of material fact and the plaintiff is entitled to prevail based solely on the law.

In additon to requesting the summary judgement in that case, Intel upped the ante by filing a countersuit against Taiwan-based Via and its Texas-based subsidiary Centaur Technologies, claiming that the C3 processor uses technology covered under Intel patents, Mulloy said.

Intel also filed patent suits against Via last month in Germany, Hong Kong and the U.K., claiming that the C3 infringes on various national and European patents.The suits filed in Texas were not related to the suits filed in other countries, according to Mulloy.

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