RealTime IT News

Intel Countersues Transmeta Over Patents

The other shoe dropped in the Transmeta versus Intel patent case. This week Intel countersued Transmeta over patents used to control power consumption in processors.

Transmeta sued Intel  last October, alleging Intel's Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core and Core 2 products infringe on its patents.

Intel's filing, in the same Delaware court as Transmeta's complaint, is in response to that suit. Transmeta did not specify what kind of damages it was seeking, but did say it would target as much as $100 billion in revenue from those lines of processors.

In its filing this week, Intel disputed Transmeta's claims and accused the once-darling startup chip maker of infringing on its own patents. Transmeta launched in 2000 as an alternative x86 processor design specializing in low power consumption.

Unable to gain much ground against Intel, Transmeta shifted to licensing its low power consumption technology to other chip makers. In July 2006, it struck just such a deal with AMD .

In the suit, Intel said seven of Transmeta's patents were not "duly and legally issued" because Intel was issued the patents first, and that this information was "withheld, concealed and/or mischaracterized that information with the intent to deceive the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office" to obtain the patents. These patents covered things like power usage, address translation and instruction scheduling.

Intel declined to comment when approached by Internetnews.com. A Transmeta spokesperson said "As expected, Intel has timely filed their response to our lawsuit and we are reviewing their complaints. We remain firmly committed to the merits of our lawsuit."

Both companies are based in Santa Clara, Calif.