Intel wins important legal round with Intergraph

Intel on Friday won an important round in its legal battle with Intergraph, when the judge presiding over the case dismissed Intergraph's remaining antitrust claims against the chip giant.

In a ruling issued Friday, Judge Edwin Nelson of US District Court in Alabama denied a claim by Intergraph that Intel had acted unlawfully in order to maintain monopoly power in the PC microprocessor market. Intel had previously filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue.

In its lawsuit filed in 1997, Intergraph accused Intel of using several Intergraph patents in the design of Intel's Pentium-type processors. When Intergraph tried to enforce its patent rights, Intergraph said in the complaint, Intel harmed the smaller firm by denying it access to information about future Intel products. Intergraph said it needed the information to build its workstations.

Intel was forced by a 1998 perliminary injunction to provide Intergraph with access to the future product information, but that injunction was overturned in November last year by a US federal appeals court.

Several other issues remain to be resolved in the lawsuit, including breach of contract allegations against Intel, said Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman. A trial for the lawsuit had been scheduled for June 12; that date had been postponed and no new date has been set, Mulloy said.

Intergraph, in Huntsville, Alabama, can be reached at +1-256-730-2000 or at http://www.intergraph.com. Intel, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-987-8080 or at http://www.intel.com/.

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