The US District Court, the Eastern District of Texas ruled yesterday that Intel’s Itanium-based products infringe Intergraph’s patented technology for defining key aspects of parallel instruction computing (PIC).
‘This ruling validates Intergraph’s patents, and paves the way for Intergraph’s Intellectual Property (IP) Division to actively pursue open licensing with others throughout the consumer electronics and computer industries,’ said Intergraph chairman and CEO Jim Taylor.
‘We are pleased that the Company’s long-standing dispute with Intel has concluded with yet another significant return from the Company’s investment in innovation.’
In his order, Judge T. John Ward ruled that Intergraph’s patents are ‘valid and enforceable’ and that Intel’s products ‘literally infringe’ two claims of a ‘028 patent and seven claims of a ‘003 patent. Judge Ward also determined that Intergraph is entitled to an injunction on Intel’s Itanium or Itanium 2 processors.
During court-ordered mediation talks in April 2002, Intergraph and Intel settled an earlier patent infringement case filed by Intergraph in 1997. In that settlement, Intel paid Intergraph $300 million and took a license to Intergraph’s Clipper technology patents. The mediation also resulted in Intel and Intergraph agreeing to set liquidated damages for the PIC patent case. Under terms of the settlement, the Texas Court’s finding of infringement obligates Intel to pay Intergraph $150 million in liquidated damages.
Upon payment of $150 million, Intel then has three options: (1) pay an additional $100 million to Intergraph and receive a license to the PIC patents, (2) appeal the District Court decision and, if they lose the appeal, pay Intergraph an additional $100 million, or (3) try to design around the infringement.
Intergraph also recently announced that Fujitsu had licensed the PIC technology for use in consumer electronics and embedded applications. Commenting on the significance of these two events, Intergraph’s general counsel David Vance Lucas said, ‘Judge Ward’s finding of infringement affirms the value and significance of Intergraph’s IP. We hope that the momentum from this decision, together with the recent announcement of our license to Fujitsu, will significantly advance our goal of establishing an open licensing program for Intergraph’s technology.’