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Intel countersues VIA – again

Targets the C3 processor, this time

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The increasingly bitter brawl between Intel and VIA escalated last week when the chip giant sued the Taiwanese chipset maker in return for the suit VIA filed against it last month - itself a response to Intel's initial patent infringement action, brought early in September.

The latest action claims VIA and its processor design subsidiary, Centaur, unlawfully used Intel intellectual property in their work on the C3 chip. Intel claims five patents were infringed and wants VIA permanently banned from selling the processor. It is also seeking unspecified damages.

Intel's suit follows VIA's own patent infringement action, filed in with the US District Court in Texas last month. VIA's suit alleges Intel's Pentium 4 infringes patents held by Centaur and demands unspecified damages and a halt to all sales of P4 processors.

Intel has already filed C3-centred patent infringement suits in the UK, Germany and Hong Kong, in addition to intellectual property violation suits centring on VIA's P4X266 chipset. It was Intel's beef with VIA over that product, which hooks up the P4 to DDR SDRAM, that started the whole shouting match off in the first place, on 7 September.

We expect VIA to reciprocate, and we understand the company will make a major announcement about the battle next week. Stay tuned... ®

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