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Intel gets access to ATI patents via new settlement

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November 16, 2009 12:58:32 AM

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20091115115331...


The new pact between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp. is praised by the partners of two chipmakers. The attitude is hardly surprising, considering the fact that suppliers of personal computers greatly reduced their risks of low x86 chips supplies when Intel and AMD signed the new agreement.

“The settlement is a win-win for both [Intel and AMD], although it may not have much effect on Intel's continuing governmental antitrust investigations around the world,” wrote Jack Gold, principal analyst for J. Gold Associates, in an early analysis of the settlement, reports CRN web-site.

Under the terms of the new agreement, AMD will be able to manufacture its x86 microprocessors on any factory and those production facilities do not have to be qualified as AMD’s subsidiaries. As a result, when Globalfoundries, at present a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company, absorbs recently acquired Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing and AMD will become a minor shareholder, the contract maker of chips will be able to manufacture x86 processors. Intel, on the other hand, now has access to patents of ATI, graphics business unit of AMD.

http://www.amd.com/us-en/assets/content_type/Downloadab...

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http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/digestTAL.jsp?id=12024354716...

Prelude to a Settlement? Analyzing the AMD-Intel Sanction Motions
By Susan Beck
November 13, 2009
Yesterday, when we discussed the $1.25 billion AMD-Intel settlement, we touched on possible reasons for the settlement's timing. O'Melveny & Myers partner Chuck Diamond, who represents AMD, suggested that Intel may have been prompted in part to settle because of an Oct. 14 motion filed by his client seeking severe sanctions against Intel. An Intel spokesperson told us this wasn't the case. Still, we took some time to read that motion, along with a countervailing sanction motion by Intel, and thought they were worth some discussion. (Note: The two motions are heavily redacted in parts.) In particular, AMD's motion raised some serious claims about Intel's widespread destruction of e-mails that could have made the company nervous.

According to AMD's motion--which, we might add, is exceptionally well written--Intel "probably" destroyed more than 1 million e-mails because it continued to use an automatic delete function on its e-mail system after AMD sued it in June 2005.
November 16, 2009 3:18:39 AM

Arik Hesseldahl


It took a mediator—and a trip to Maui—to break the biggest logjam in landmark settlement talks between Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Before arriving at the agreement that ended years of acrimony and legal wrangling between the world's largest makers of computer chips, representatives of each needed to answer one fundamental question: How much money would change hands?

The financial settlement was hammered out very late in more than a half-year of negotiations that culminated in a Nov. 12 announcement that Intel (INTC) would pay $1.25 billion to resolve long-standing antitrust allegations by AMD (AMD). Several people close to both sides gave BusinessWeek a play-by-play outline of the dramatic and sometimes tense talks dating to April 2009.

Money—and who would pay it—proved the thorniest point. People on both sides say AMD wanted payment in exchange for dropping antitrust allegations, while Intel said it should be compensated for giving an AMD subsidiary access to its patents. The resulting disagreement threatened to derail settlement talks. But parties hammered out an eleventh-hour compromise during a two-day marathon of meetings this fall with a mediator in Hawaii.


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http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/nov2009/...


http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2009/11/12/intel-gets-a-new-gc...


http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202435428489&rss...

Dewds note

A more robust history of Intel AMD litigation as well as some older case findings of intel doing the same to other smaller tech companies. After reading some of them it begs the question : "How many companies has Intel utterly destroyed?" Just in the last few years weve seen transmeta and Via filing claims as well as AMD, the turn around forced VIA to shut up and threatened its x86 license and chipset license yet at the same time Intel walked away with more non organic IP while transmeta decided to go IP only after their costly battle, which in all fairness is a castration of a company if they dont market a technology just a scrap of paperwith a test chip. And thats not all of the case law marking Intel as extremely predatory and anti competitive pro monopolistic.
Another question begging to be asked is how many hundreds of millions do they spend on lawyers a year and how much time is spent in court representation? Just at a glance Id guess that Intel has a busy year most years breaching crosslicenses while other companies do the same. The end result is both parties walk away with a token but the smaller companies token weghs less because they have immensely fewer of them.

It makes Intel look like a leach and crosslicense holders like new born suckers. the x86 platform should be forced into an open sourced format by the SEC and FTC and federal courts to disallow the predatory practice Intel uses it for, and new laws should be in place for crosslicensing barring unauthorized use of tech outside a single agreement, In my opinion the world needs innovation not castration and intels x86 is too proprietary to be a soley owned facet. Like rambus and their bogus memory claims that grip the throats of the industry x86 should be free to all to use as long as royalties are paid to ensure the future development of new technologies.

at the same time to avoid platformic idiocy as in the 80's and at other times, the standard should meet all current standards for compatibility bar none. Anyone wanting to deviate will have to rely on others with the same vision to create transitional platforms. But x86 is more than Intel is willing to deal with fairly , as it seems attaining that license means crosslicensing as well, which should be forced by law into a seperate agreement entirely and not obligatory for x86 open license payers.

It goes without saying that my impression of Intel getting ANY ATI design tech makes me a bit unhappy and I think it could come back to bite AMD square in the ass quarters. Its a slimey thing for Intel to continue raking in smaler IP and leasing them back out just to breach license after license. Now they want an anti trust specialist which is so damn groovy I just cant contain myself; The inspired nausea just makes me feel so homey.

I have looked for exactly what IP was allowed to be used but that could still be under client confidentiality rules, at least there is a two way street of AMD and Intel getting the better of each other with crosslicense breaches but its wreckless for the law to allow such practices because it limits IP "innovation " to two companies in that field . Its old and worn at this point, and smaller tech gets screwed 100 ways from sunday in every bit of these forceably un navigated waters called tech regulation law. Oh wait there is no real regulation just post incident damage control.

Intel does more to stifle ingenuity for the entire industry than it does to promote industry wide innovation, IMO no monopolistic proprietary platform should be so incompetently controlled , x86 should be mandated open sourced at cost of licensing with no additional strings attached and definirtely no way for Intel to revoke said license; maybe that would get them to evolve beyond it into something less proprietary and more conducive to industry wide innovation.

http://ftcsearch.ftc.gov/search?q=AMD&entqr=0&ud=1&outp...

FTC News results for Intel
FTC: Intel Abuses its Monopoly Power in Violation of Federal Law
FTC News Releases - March 1999
FTC News Releases - April 1998
Federal Trade Commission... Affairs. In the Matter of Intel Corporation. Docket No. 9288. August 6, 1999.
Decision and Order; Statement of Chairman Robert Pitofsky ...
www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/d9288.shtm - 13k

In the Matter of Intel Corporation, a corporation.In the Matter of Intel Corporation, a corporation. ... Order Granting Application of
Compaq Computer Corporation for In Camera Treatment of Intel Exhibit [PDF]; ...
www.ftc.gov/os/adjpro/d9288/index.shtm - 23k

FTC: Intel Abuses its Monopoly Power in Violation of Federal Law... FTC: Intel Abuses its Monopoly Power in Violation of Federal Law. ... As a monopolist,
Intel can compete by producing better, cheaper and more attractive products. ...
www.ftc.gov/opa/1998/06/intelc.shtm - 25k

INTEL CORPORATION - Second Revised Scheduling Order... In the Matter of INTEL CORPORATION, a corporation. Docket No. 9288. ... WHEREAS both
Intel and Complaint Counsel require additional time to prepare their cases; and. ...
www.ftc.gov/os/adjpro/d9288/intel990120.shtm - 28k - 1999-01-20

Intel Corporation Announcement... Affairs. In the Matter of INTEL CORPORATION, a corporation. (Docket No. 9288).
Federal Trade Commission Administrative Law Judge James ...
www.ftc.gov/os/adjpro/d9288/intelcre2.shtm - 23k

The Patent-Antitrust Interface... should not have been brought. The one Federal Trade Commission case that
is often cited is Intel.(17). This case was brought and ...
www.ftc.gov/speeches/leary/ipspeech.shtm - 43k

Report from the Bureau of Competition (1999)... Two recent noteworthy settlements are: Intel Corporation(29) and Monier Lifetile
LLC.(30). Intel. ... 31. Intergraph Corp. v. Intel Corp., 3 F.Supp.2d 1255 (ND Ala. ...
www.ftc.gov/speeches/other/baerspaba99.shtm - 82k
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November 16, 2009 3:46:35 AM

FTC: Intel Abuses its Monopoly Power in Violation of Federal Law
Agency Charges World’s Largest Microprocessor Manufacturer Cut Off Customers and Competitors in Order to Stifle Competition and Impede Innovation
The Federal Trade Commission charged today that Intel Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of microprocessors, used its monopoly power to cement its dominance over the microprocessor market. The FTC alleged that Intel illegally used its market power when it denied three of its customers continuing access to technical information necessary to develop computer systems based on Intel microprocessors, and took other steps to punish them for refusing to license key patents on Intel’s terms. These three companies -- Digital Equipment Corporation, Intergraph Corporation and Compaq Computer Corporation -- hold important patents on microprocessor and related technologies. When they sought to enforce those patents against Intel or other computer companies who buy Intel products, Intel retaliated by cutting off the necessary technical information and threatening to cut off the supply of microprocessors, the FTC said.

“Innovation is critical to economic progress, and patents play a crucial role in encouraging that innovation,” said William J. Baer, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “Intel’s great contributions to this country’s economic growth have been encouraged and protected by patents in the design and manufacturing processes for its semiconductor products. But if Intel can use its monopoly position in the market for microprocessors to prevent other firms from enforcing their own patents, other firms will have little incentive to invent new features to challenge Intel’s dominance. As a monopolist, Intel can compete by producing better, cheaper and more attractive products. It cannot act to cement its monopoly power by preventing other firms from challenging its dominance. Intel has acted illegally. It has used its monopoly power to impede innovation and stifle competition.”

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, has annual worldwide sales of approximately $20.8 billion. The company designs, manufactures and sells a variety of semiconductor products, including a line of microprocessor products that are generally known, marketed and sold under the trade names Pentium, Pentium with MMX, Pentium Pro, and Pentium II.

A microprocessor is the central processing unit of a computer system. Often described as the “brains” of a computer system, the microprocessor serves the essential functions of processing system data and controlling other devices integral to the system.

According to the FTC complaint detailing the charges in this case, Intel has monopoly power in the market for general-purpose microprocessors. Intel’s market dominance is reflected in its own internal market analyses, which indicate that sales of Intel microprocessors have consistently accounted for approximately 80 percent of the total dollar sales of general-purpose microprocessors worldwide.

The complaint charges that Intel has unreasonably used its market power to cut off important customers who sought to protect their own patent rights in microprocessor and related technologies that rival Intel’s technology. Over the years, Intel has promoted and marketed its microprocessors by providing customers with technical information in advance of the official commercial release of new microprocessor products. This makes it possible for computer makers to have computers based on new Intel microprocessors ready to sell at the time of the official commercial release of the microprocessors, or shortly afterwards. While Intel considers the advance technical information to be proprietary, it makes the information broadly available subject to nondisclosure agreements. This is part of the mutually beneficial relationship between Intel and its customers. Intel benefits because its customers -- computer systems manufacturers - - commit resources to designing new computer products that incorporate the new Intel microprocessors. The customers benefit because they are able to introduce “leading edge” computer products with the latest microprocessor technology on a timely basis, the complaint states.

The FTC alleged that on at least three occasions, Intel has terminated or threatened to terminate its mutually beneficial relationships in a selective, targeted fashion to retaliate against the firms that sought to protect or assert patent rights in rival microprocessor technologies or that refused to license such rights to Intel. This retaliation has primarily taken the form of cutting off access to technical information needed to design computer systems based on soon-to-be-released Intel microprocessors. By its actions, Intel sought to injure the customer until that customer surrendered the patent licenses Intel desired. These actions have hurt the sales and profitability of the targeted companies and threatened to have an even more significant, long-term impact on their computer systems businesses absent settlement agreements or, in one case, judicial intervention, the complaint charges.

Digital Equipment Corporation

Digital, based in Maynard, Massachusetts, has worldwide sales of approximately $13.7 billion. It designs, manufactures, and sells computer hardware and software systems, including personal computers, workstations, and servers. Digital also designs, manufactures, and sells certain microprocessor products under the trade name Alpha.

According to the FTC, although Digital’s Alpha microprocessors have a small share of the market, they are technologically significant. Alpha provides the only other microprocessor platform that competes with Intel’s microprocessor architecture in running the Windows NT operating system developed by Microsoft Corporation. Alpha microprocessors are widely regarded to be the highest performing general purpose microprocessors available, with performance superior to any of Intel’s products in terms of accepted industry benchmarks for processor performance. Digital also is a significant Intel customer. Digital’s sales of Intel-based computers accounted for approximately $2 billion of Digital’s revenues for the fiscal year ended July 30, 1997. In May 1997, Digital sued Intel for patent infringement, alleging that Intel’s Pentium microprocessor infringed ten Digital microprocessor patents. Intel responded to Digital, the complaint alleges, by cutting off Digital’s access to technical information necessary to develop computer systems based on Intel microprocessors in a timely and efficient manner, and by threatening to cut off the supply of microprocessor devices. Only when Digital settled its patent lawsuit with Intel did Intel agree to restore the flow of information to Digital about present and future Intel microprocessors, the FTC said.

Intergraph Corporation

Intergraph, based in Huntsville, Alabama, develops and sells hardware and computer software. It focuses on workstations for computer-aided design, computer-aided engineering, computer-aided manufacturing, computer-aided animation, and other computer graphics, multimedia and digital media functions. Prior to 1993, Intergraph developed Clipper microprocessors for its own computer systems.

According to the FTC’s complaint, beginning in 1992, Intergraph became the first company to develop a family of workstations and servers based on Intel microprocessors and Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system. By 1996, Intel-based systems represented 100 percent of Intergraph’s hardware unit sales. That year, Intel sought to obtain a royalty-free license to Intergraph’s Clipper microprocessor technology as a condition for Intergraph obtaining technical information needed for it to continue developing Intel-based workstations. When Intergraph said it could not agree to such a demand, Intel refused to provide Intergraph with important information relating to graphics technology, contributing, along with subsequent Intel conduct, to a significant delay of Intergraph’s development of a graphics workstation, the complaint alleges. In 1997, Intergraph again refused Intel’s demands. In turn, Intel cut off Intergraph from access to technical information and prototypes necessary to develop computer systems based on Intel microprocessors that were not yet officially released.

Compaq Computer Corporation

Compaq, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is the largest manufacturer of personal computers in the world. Compaq designs, manufactures, and sells a full line of computer system products, including personal computers, workstations, and servers. Compaq reported revenues of approximately $24.6 billion for the fiscal year ending December 1997.

According to the complaint, Compaq is Intel’s largest volume customer, in units and dollars, for microprocessors, having purchased approximately $2 billion worth of Intel microprocessors during 1997. Such Intel-based machines constitute a significant part of Compaq’s business. In November 1994, the FTC said, Compaq sued another computer systems manufacturer, Packard Bell Electronics, Inc. (now Packard Bell NEC, Inc.) for using patented Compaq technology in Packard Bell motherboards. A motherboard is the main circuit board of a computer, containing the central processing unit and memory. Intel, the supplier of the motherboards, intervened on Packard Bell’s side, because Intel had an obligation to indemnify Packard Bell. In response to Compaq’s assertion of its intellectual property rights in motherboards, Intel cut off technical information that Compaq needs in order to design systems based on Intel’s newest chips, even though that technical information is widely available to similarly situated computer manufacturers. Intel restored Compaq’s access to technical information only after Compaq agreed to cross-license its patents with Intel, the agency said.

Following a trial by an administrative law judge, the FTC is seeking a notice of contemplated relief that would prevent Intel from repeating the kind of conduct it has engaged in with respect to Digital, Intergraph, and Compaq: using the threat of a discriminatory cut-off of products or technical information to force customers to license or sell their intellectual property to Intel. According to the FTC’s notice of contemplated relief, the agency is seeking an order that would leave Intel free to change customer’s access to products and technology when it has legitimate business reasons, rather than to coerce licensing or sale of property.

The Commission vote to issue the administrative complaint was 3-1 with Commissioner Orson Swindle dissenting. Commissioner Swindle stated that, at this time, he did not find reason to believe that Intel has violated the law, and that he would have preferred to gather and analyze more information before making a reason-to-believe determination.


Photos from News Conference


NOTE: The Commission issues a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The issuance of a complaint is not a finding or ruling that the respondent has violated the law. The complaint marks the beginning of a proceeding in which the allegations will be ruled upon after a formal hearing.


Copies of the complaint and notice of contemplated relief will be available shortly on the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov (no period) and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C., 202-382-4357; TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.

Media Contact:
Victoria Streitfeld or Michelle Muth,
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2718 or 202-326-2161
Staff Contact:
William J. Baer,
Bureau of Competition
202-326-2932

Willard K. Tom,
Bureau of Competition
202-326-2786
(FTC File No. 951 0028)
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November 16, 2009 5:57:05 AM

I doubt it. nvidia is still a major player in gfx workstations more than any other gfx maker.
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November 16, 2009 6:39:54 AM

You do know a few excuses/aplogies will be "I know someone that knows someone that said the Pope himself knows Intels not guilty, not in a REAL court of law",
or, we have to throw out all previous mentions of Intels wrongdoings as it doesnt apply to AMD in this specific case yadda yadda, or, theyre trying to get money from Intel is all yadda yadda.
Personally, after more truth comes to light, and I thiank you Elmo and others, as well as the NY AG, Japan, Korea et al, Im tired of hearing the apologists.
The only hopeful reddeming factor in the sharing of the ATI tech (and I know a few people who like both companies who may not like seeing this), would be their individual approaches.
While Intel works their MCM type scenario with LRB, having a completely differing arch using gpu may mean this IP is useless for Intel, or is at least my hope.
Trying to propel tech forwards while also being competitive for our monies is no easy thing, but being the largest 5 times over, and then also taking huge advantages of IP,"deals", etc needs oversight, continual oversight, and yes, the x86 license can be argued as too important for a simple entity to hold and license, and should be dealt with either thru oversight, or taken away altogether, and opened up
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November 16, 2009 9:39:41 AM

Well maybe it will allow Intel to find a good center between low power, cheap and decent IGP performance until they find out how to work larrabee into it.

I don't see anything but a up for Intel with ATI IP.
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November 16, 2009 9:57:10 AM

What's with the wall of text and the batman and Nv cards in this post?, why can't people respect other websites and just stick to quotes and links rather than copying and pasting entire articles?
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November 16, 2009 11:16:58 AM

+1 for mousemonkey's suggestion .
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November 16, 2009 2:12:16 PM

I thought agreement was about x86 crosslicensing and does not include anything from GPU's
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November 16, 2009 3:08:10 PM

Mousemonkey said:
What's with the wall of text and the batman and Nv cards in this post?, why can't people respect other websites and just stick to quotes and links rather than copying and pasting entire articles?

trimmed as much as its going to be and its still a wall.
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November 16, 2009 3:19:11 PM

verndewd said:
trimmed as much as its going to be and its still a wall.

I appreciate your efforts mate, cheers.
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Best solution

November 16, 2009 7:39:34 PM

Quote:
Game over for nv. One picture is worth a thousand words. :) 

If you can find a translation let me know...
You could translate it. Unless you can't, in which case I'd be curious as to why you'd post a snapshot of a site you can't read. :heink: 
Share
November 17, 2009 3:05:35 AM

and They should define what access means as well. Just analytical access or license use access? And which patents?
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November 17, 2009 3:09:27 AM

Quote:
One picture is worth a thousand words. :) 

Then there's at least 10,000 words in this thread.
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November 17, 2009 6:17:18 AM

Quote:
5 pictures by me... :)  but that does not mean 5000 words. It means that the thread was shortened by 5000 words.
very timely, meaningful and interesting thread.

The other 5000 words are in Vern's posts :kaola: 
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November 17, 2009 5:45:19 PM

bahhh to hell you say, theres gotta be more than 5k words in all of that :D 
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