Intergraph loses appeal in Intel antitrust case

The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower federal court's ruling on Friday that chip king Intel Corp. did not wield monopoly power illegally, thus breaking federal antitrust laws, in its dealings with technical solutions and systems integration company Intergraph Corp.

Intergraph filed suit against Intel in 1997, claiming that the chip maker infringed on Intergraph's patents for Clipper microprocessors -- a series of chips used in a discontinued line of workstations. The company also charged that Intel withheld future product information from Intergraph, preventing the computer workstation design company from developing new products by using monopoly market position. U.S. District Judge Edwin Nelson ruled against Intergraph on the patent infringement charge in October 1999, and in March 2000 threw out the charge that Intel broke federal antitrust regulations in March 2000.

The federal appellate court upheld Nelson's antitrust ruling Friday, but Intergraph's chief executive officer said it still has pending appeals regarding the patent infringement case and other issues.

"While we continue to believe that Intel abused their monopoly position in an effort to coerce a royalty-free right to use our Clipper technology, we do not consider the antitrust claims material to our case or our damages," said James Taylor, Intergraph's CEO. "Any compensatory damages available for the antitrust claims are also available for our business tort and contract claims. Intergraph will now focus on these claims and on our patent infringement claims, which are our number one priority."

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