TI Sued Over Patent Infringement in OMAP 3 and 4 Series

The patents in question are #6,647,450 (Multiprocessor computer systems with command FIFO buffer at each target device), #6,708,259 (Programmable wake up of memory transfer controllers in a memory transfer engine) and #6,874,049 (Semaphores with interrupt mechanism).

All three patents were held until November 9, 2011 by Cradle Technologies, which was spun off Cirrus Logic in 1998. Cradle IP is a subsidiary of Cradle Technologies that was apparently created to monetize Cradle Technology's patents. Cradle Technologies describes itself as a "leader in network video surveillance systems".

According to the suit, Cradle continued to develop multi-core hardware designs after it was separated from Cirrus Logic and even released chips, including the CT3600 multi-core DSP in 2005 and was earlier to market than TI and Freescale. The company also stated that it has tried to contact TI about the alleged patent violations as early as November 2008, but has been supposedly ignored.

As usual, the document asks for a court trial to confirm the infringement, as well as "compensatory damages, past and future, amounting to no less than reasonable royalties, prejudgment interest, and/or any other available damages based on any form of recoverable economic injury sustained by Cradle as a result of TI’s infringement including enhanced damages for TI’s willful infringement of the Patents-in-Suit."

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  • alidan
    not sure what these pattents are exactly, but if used in chips predateing ti's use, than i can see a legitimate concern.

    granted i dont know much and for all i know these could be the rounded edges of hardware.
  • dogman_1234
    This is insane!

    this has to burn a bridge for innovators. Originally, Patents and IP, ( Intellectual Property) were created to protect inventors and innovation. Nowadays, it is a marketing tool to screw anyone in the @$$ for billions and deters innovation. This is sickening to see a good idea being abused.
  • mrmez
    It is a bit out of control for sure. But won't it deter innovation even more if everyone blatantly violates patents with no consequence?

    I mean, whats the point in spending billions on R&D creating something new if everyone will copy you tomorrow at no cost?

    There is no magic bullet here. Protecting IP is difficult and costly. With so many million patents, its also extremely difficult to find if there is something already out there, especially when the descriptions can be so vague.