Intergraph sues TI over alleged patent breach

Chip designer Intergraph Corp. has sued Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) alleging that TI has infringed three patents which define key aspects of parallel instruction computing (PIC), the company said in a statement Thursday.

Intergraph says the patented PIC technology is an essential component in TI's TMS320C6000 family of DSPs (digital signal processors).

Intergraph has filed the lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

In October last year, a judge in that court ruled that Intergraph's patents were valid and enforceable during a lawsuit that Intergraph had filed against Intel Corp. over its Itanium processor line. Separately, Fujitsu Ltd. has licensed the PIC technology from Intergraph.

Intergraph developed PIC in the early 1990s for use in its C5 Clipper line of microprocessors. The TI DSPs at the center of the lawsuit were not developed until 1997, Intergraph said.

In December 2002, Intergraph sued Dell Computer Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Gateway, Inc. for infringing its Clipper memory management patents. That lawsuit will also be heard in the U.S.District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

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