A federal jury in Texas this week ordered Intel to pay VLSI Technology nearly $949 million for infringing a patent with its processors, according to a Reuters report. Intel disagreed with the verdict and will appeal.
VLSI asserts that Intel's Skylake and Cascade Lake processors violated its patents covering a CPU innovation and its lawyers say that the violations cause 'millions and millions of infringements per second.' Intel argues that its Skylake and Cascade Lake CPUs use technologies developed in-house and that the patent VLSI acquired from NXP cannot cover modern processors.
Based on court records accessed via PACER, VLSI is accusing Intel of infringing its 7,242,552 patent, which covers a method for lessening the problems of defects caused by stress applied to bond pads. The technique includes adding dummy metal lines to interconnect layers to increase their density before producing other layers.
This is not the first time Intel has lost in court to VLSI. In March 2021, a district judge in Waco, Texas, ordered Intel to pay VLSI $2.18 billion for infringing two of its patents related to frequency management and lowering memory voltage. The patents were originally filed by SigmaTel and Freescale. Intel failed to overturn the ruling in Aug. 2021.
Intel and VLSI have a large scale ongoing legal battle in different courts across the U.S. and abroad. VLSI accused Intel of infringing 19 of its patents that originate from Freescale, SigmaTel, and NXP. Some of the claims have been dismissed by judges, but many cases are still ongoing.
VLSI is controlled by Fortress Investment Group, a private equity firm, which is owned by SoftBank. SoftBank also owns Arm. Intel and Apple have accused VLSI, Fortress, and their affiliates of unlawful patent aggregation.
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Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.
Yet another example of the completely broken patent system in the US: A hedge fund buys up patents for the sole purpose of squeezing money out of people/businesses. Simplest solution would be if you're not the original patent holder and aren't using it to produce a product the patent is invalidated. The majority of the companies that are being gone after can afford it (they wouldn't be targeted otherwise), but at the same time this does nothing but transfer wealth between rich people. It doesn't protect ideas or help society in any way.Reply
its 7,242,552 patent, which covers a method for lessening the problems of defects caused by stress applied to bond pads. The technique includes adding dummy metal lines to interconnect layers to increase their density before producing other layers
How about get lost?? What is wrong with the american patent system?? How the flying heck is this a patent?
ikernelpro4 said:How the flying heck is this a patent?
Ah, but if you violate it enough times per second it becomes valid!
Asian hedge funds found out how broken the US patent system is. They are targeting successful US companies to profit using vague un-patentable stuffs that somehow awarded as patents. Also it’s funny that the patent trolls always file lawsuits in certain Texas suburbs where they find enough gullible people to believe their BS.Reply
Worse. Intel's revenues come from its customers. To offset these fines and any fees it has to pay to license patents, Intel must increase the price of its products. So, it's actually a wealth transfer from a broad swath of society -> the rich hedge fund shareholders.thestryker said:this does nothing but transfer wealth between rich people. It doesn't protect ideas or help society in any way.
Perhaps you might be tempted to say that Intel's shareholders are the ones who suffer, but if you look at Intel's history of dividends, they seem to prioritize those above all else. They will even cut their workforce, before they reduce their dividends.
IMO, the real problem is that many patents are over-broad or cover prior art. I wouldn't have such a problem if the patents were truly novel and non-obvious, because having a market value for innovation would generally serve to spur more of it. But, if you can get a patent for almost anything, and the standard for infringement is sufficiently low, then this whole situation starts to look like a petty extortion racket.