Intel, Via Settle Bulk of Their Patent Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO (07/05/2000) - Intel Corp. and Via Technologies Inc. have settled much of a legal dispute that spanned courtrooms in the U.S., Singapore and the U.K., the companies said in a joint statement issued Wednesday.

Under terms of the settlement, Taiwan's Via has agreed to pay Intel a lump sum along with ongoing royalty fees for the use of certain Intel technology patents, the companies said in the joint statement. Intel, meanwhile, will modify a licensing agreement between the companies so that Via can make and sell chipsets that work with Intel's Pentium III, Celeron and earlier processors. Other terms of the settlement are confidential.

The disagreement stemmed from a 1998 licensing agreement that turned sour when Intel accused the Taiwanese firm of infringing on some of its technology patents. Intel sued Via in U.S. District Court for alleged patent infringement, and then followed up with similar lawsuits in Singapore and the U.K.

In January this year, the chip giant asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to step in, urging the organization to bar some of Via's products from the U.S. altogether. [See "Intel Asks ITC to Bar Via's Chip Sets from U.S.," Jan. 18.]Wednesday's settlement will result in the dismissal of all the suits filed in the U.K., Singapore and before the ITC, the companies said. However, it won't end the legal tussle between the companies altogether.

Intel will amend a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco to eliminate charges related to chipsets that support Intel microprocessors -- but not those that support similar PC chips made by Intel's rival, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), an Intel spokesman said Wednesday.

Via's right to make chipsets that work with AMD processors, some of which use the same x86-type design as Intel's processors, wasn't part of Intel's original licensing agreement with Via, and is still in dispute, Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said.

Via Technologies, in Taipei, can be reached at +886-2-2218-5452, or on the Web at http://www.via.com.tw/. Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-765-8080, or via the Web at http://www.intel.com/.

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