Intergraph Slaps Patent Suit on TI
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The Huntsville, Ala.-based Intergraph
infringed three patents, which define
portions of parallel instruction computing (PIC). It said research showed
PIC to be a crucial component in Dallas-based Texas Instruments' TMS320C6000
family of digital signal processors (DSP)
Intergraph claims it developed and patented the PIC technology in the early 1990s for use in its C5 Clipper microprocessor while TI's TMS320C6000 family of products was introduced much later -- in 1997.
Officials at Texas Instruments could not be reached for comment at press time.
Intergraph, which has already received a $150 million payment from Intel
It said TI's family of DSPs are generally used as high-performance embedded controllers in consumer products. Applications include audio and video encoders and decoders, broadband solutions, optical networking, telephony, voice processing and wireless communications.
The company, which also sued Dell Computer
over its Clipper memory management patents, said the patents that TI is
allegedly infringing "have already been found to be valid and enforceable by
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and were also
licensed by Fujitsu in September 2002."
"It is necessary that we take this step to protect our intellectual property. Our legacy in advanced microprocessor design has left Intergraph and its shareholders with valuable patents," Intergraph CEO Jim Taylor said in a statement.
The Clipper patents being contested with Dell, HP and Gateway was at the core of the Intel settlement of a 1997 lawsuit. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel agreed to a $300 million settlement and inked a cross license agreement that allows it to take ownership of certain unrelated patents from Intergraph.
That settlement is different from another legal squabble between Intergraph and Intel over the PIC technology. A judge ruled in favor of Intergraph but Intel plans to appeal the verdict.