Via Settles Lawsuit with Chip Partner Trident

SAN FRANCISCO (04/20/2000) - Via Technologies Inc. has agreed to pay Trident Microsystems Inc. US$10.17 million as part of an agreement that settles a lawsuit Trident filed against the Taiwanese chip vendor last year.

Via and Trident have worked closely for more than two years to co-develop and market integrated graphics and core logic chips that are used in desktop and notebook PCs from top PC makers, including Compaq Computer Corp.

Even as they continued to work together, Trident sued Via in a U.S. District Court last July, accusing the company of breach of contract, fraud, patent infringement and other offenses. Trident asked the court for $200 million in punitive damages as well as unspecified actual damages.

In a joint statement issued today, the companies said they have agreed to settle their differences in order to focus on serving their mutual customers and to avoid the cost and distractions of a lengthy lawsuit. Under the terms of the agreement, Via will pay Trident $10.17 million for a desktop software driver license fee.

For Via, the settlement isn't the end of its legal troubles. The company still faces at least three lawsuits filed against it by Intel Corp., which has accused the Taiwanese firm of selling chipsets that infringe on Intel's technology patents. Via has denied those charges.

In January, Intel asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to weigh in on the matter by asking the agency to bar Via from importing its chipsets to the U.S. The ITC agreed has agreed to investigate the matter, and the two sides are in a discovery phase, a Via spokesman in the U.S. confirmed today.

Trident can be contacted at +1-408-496-1085, and on the Web at Via Technologies, in Taipei, can be reached at +886-2-2218-5452, or on the Web at

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