It appears that Intel's technical challenges with its 7nm process will be complicated by legal challenges as well. The Hagens Berman law firm issued a press release on Friday calling for investors impacted by Intel's recent stock market losses to join a potential class-action lawsuit for investors fraud. The firm also "encourages persons who may be able to assist the Firm's investigation of possible securities fraud to contact the firm."
Intel's announcement of a delay to its 7nm process sent shockwaves through the semiconductor industry last week as the company grapples with yet another delay to a process node, leading its stock price to plummet 16% over the weekend as it shed roughly $43 billion in market cap. Bernsteins noted that Intel's most recent earnings call was 'the worst we have seen in 42 years covering Intel" and that the stock is "basically un-ownable." Naturally, investors are unhappy, and the Hagens Berman law firm encourages impacted parties that held the stock before July 23, 2020, to submit their losses for possible inclusion in a class-action lawsuit.
The firm, founded in 1993 and branded "one of the preeminent class action firms in the U.S." by Bloomberg, is investigating "whether Intel misrepresented and concealed manufacturing and performance with its next generation 7-nanometer chips." Hagens Berman cites Intel's previous assurances of a 2021 launch for the 7nm process and says "We're focused on investors' losses and whether Intel misled investors about the 7nm schedule and related manufacturing issues."
It certainly isn't uncommon to see lawyers circle as investors look to recoup at least some of their losses after drastic plunges in stock valuations, but the firm also solicits whistleblowers that can help prove that Intel knowingly misled investors: "Persons with non-public information regarding Intel should consider their options to help in the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program. Under the new program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC."
The potential class action lawsuit adds yet another task for Intel's legal machine. Intel's most recent Form 10-Q [PDF] lists several ongoing lawsuits that could impact the company, and the company says it cannot "make a reasonable estimate of the potential loss or range of losses" for several of the suits. Those include 'multiple' ongoing lawsuits for the Spectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities that have been lodged in U.S. federal and state courts (and in "certain" courts in other countries) against Intel and some of its current and former executives and directors. Intel also lists an ongoing lawsuit from the Chinese Academy of Sciences for patent infringement, along with another patent infringement suit from VLSI Technology. Intel also continues to argue the details of its 2001 lawsuit for unfair business practices against AMD.