VIA beats off Intel legal attack

But not in the P4X266 suit...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intel has failed in one of its other legal attempts to bring to book chipset maker VIA for allegedly ripping off its intellectual property, its arguments damned by the trial judge as "confused".

Last week, Judge William Alsup of the US District Court for Northern California threw out Intel's claim that VIA had infringed its rights by implementing AGP Fast Write mode.

Intel maintained that Fast Write was an extension of its AGP specification, and that VIA's support for it went beyond its licence to use the basic standard.

Rubbish, countered VIA. Fast Write support is an essential part of the AGP standard, it said, so if we have the right to do AGP, we have the right to support AGP Fast Write mode.

Judge Alsup agreed. "Intel argues that Fast Write is a 'protocol,' not a specification," he wrote, explaining his decision. "A protocol, however, can also be a specification. At oral argument, Intel's attorney at first even agreed that the AGP 2.0 specification contained a 'specification' for Fast Write. At the end of the oral argument, however, he rescinded his agreement. Although the court would not bind counsel to his admission, the exchange illustrates the confusion in Intel's position."

The Judge said it was clear that others could become confused by Intel's stance too. "Under Intel's reading of the licence, it would be impossible for any engineer or business to understand what was (or was not) licensed," he wrote.

This case, begun last year, says nothing, of course, about VIA's battle with Intel over its use of the Pentium 4 bus. The outcome of both companies' actions is unclear, though one thing is certain: that motherboard makers and PC vendors want the argument settled sooner rather than later. It's in no one's interest, they say, for the P4X266 fight to continue as long as the AGP Fast Write spat has. ®

Related Stories

VIA in talks with Intel to settle P4 chipset fight
VIA launches latest Pentium 4 chipset
Intel countersues VIA - again
Intel takes VIA P4 Patent War to UK, HK, Germany
Intel vs VIA - get it sorted, demand Mobo makers
VIA sues Intel, claims ownership of Pentium 4 patents
Intel sues VIA over chipset upset


Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.