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S3 will be battleline between Intel, AMD

Intellectual property will ramp up clash of David versus Goliath

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Chip company S3 patents are likely to be the raw piece of flesh in the battle between chip Pretender AMD and chip King Intel. This is like the film Elizabeth being acted out on the sub-micron level, if not necessarily in the Star Court chamber. But the intellectual property rights are likely to be thrashed out in court, according to observers and witnesses. The problems are complex. Intel, not long ago, struck a deal with S3 to license some of its rights, but as far as The Register can ascertain, some of those rights belonged first to AMD. That is likely to lead to a court battle in North America, where intellectual property rights are the crown jewels, libel is uncommon and slander practically unknown, in Common Law. For many years, chip companies have fought over what they regard as their crown jewels -- their patents. Intel's legal department has a brief to make a profit. This one should be interesting for the outsider to observe. AMD would also like to have a profit/loss department in legal matters, The Register is given to understand. AMD's chief clone rival, Cyrix, now part of NatSemi, managed to win considerable victories against Intel. Patent law is beyond us. If any lawyers are reading this, please email us on the issues but don't sue because the whole situation on the S3 patents is very confusing to us outsiders in Blighty. As is Internet legislation on libel, intellectual property and slander. ® Registroid You cannae get blud oot of a stone (Aberdeen Witches' Confession, 1591)

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