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Intel's battle with Broadcom comes to court

<ding, ding> Round one...

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Intel and Broadcom faced each other yesterday as the wide-ranging patent infringement lawsuit the chip giant filed in August 2000 came to court.

Both sides made their opening statements before the jury that will decide the trial's outcome. A second trial will follow on from the first, Intel's original lawsuit having been split into two. Intel alleged Broadcom products violated five key patents. Two of the claims, covering network processors and digital video chips, will be investigating in the current hearing. The rest, which centre on two further digital video chip patents and a third patent relating to chip packaging, will be judged in the second trial.

In the first case, Intel is seeking $82 million in damages.

Broadcom's defence claims Intel's two patents are invalid because of prior examples of the technology and methods they enshrine. "They're not any good because everything in them was invented before by someone else," said Broadcom lawyer Terrence McMahon told the court.

Intel claims that Broadcom's alleged violation was a knowing attempt - described by the company's lawyer as a "carefully crafted" plan - to cash in on intellectual property relating to "nearly every aspect of its business".

The trial opens just over a week after Broadcom filed a patent infringement action of its own against Intel. That lawsuit alleges the chip giant wilfully ripped off certain graphics chip patents owned by Broadcom. The company is seeking unspecified damages. ®

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