RealTime IT News

Transmeta Charges Intel With Patent Infringement

Chip designer Transmeta announced it has filed a lawsuit against Intel, claiming infringement of 10 Transmeta U.S. patents covering computer architecture and power efficiency technologies.

Both companies are based in Santa Clara, Calif. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

The complaint charges that Intel  has long infringed and is infringing Transmeta's patents by making and selling a variety of microprocessor products, including at least Intel's Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core and Core 2 product lines.

Transmeta  would not give specifics on damages its seeking to recover, but a company spokesman confirmed its complaint could address as much as $100 billion worth of revenue Intel's realized in chip sales for nearly the past several years.

Once a highly touted startup, Transmeta burst on the scene in 2000 with low power, x86-compatible processors at a time when both Intel and AMD were more focused on performance than power efficiency.

But product delays had Transmeta stumbling from the start, and as Intel moved aggressively to offer more efficient mobile processors, Transmeta shifted to licensing its technology to others.

Without getting into specifics, a Transmeta statement said "Intel has practiced multiple Transmeta inventions in its major microprocessor product lines."

Intel could not be reached for comment.

The complaint requests an injunction against Intel's continuing sales of those products as well as monetary damages, including reasonable royalties on infringing products, treble damages and attorneys' fees.

In June, Transmeta struck a licensing deal with Intel rival AMD .

Arthur Swift, president and CEO of Transmeta, said the company believes the suit is "… an appropriate step to return value to our stockholders from our investments over the past decade."