Feeds

20 Japanese giants sue US processor patent holder

Tables turned on Patriot Scientific

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Almost two dozen Japanese electronics companies have together filed five lawsuits against US intellectual property holding company Patriot Scientific. The lawsuits ask the US District Court in Oakland, California to declare three patents held by Patriot to be invalid.

Patriot will be well-known to Register readers as the company that in January 2004 sued Sony, Toshiba, Matsushita/Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC for alleging infringing its patent for a "high performance microprocessor having [a] variable speed system clock". The technology is detailed in US patent number 5,809,336.

The patent was filed in June 1995 and granted on 15 September 1998. Patriot wants damages "in excess of several hundred million dollars" from the five Japanese PC makers for their alleged infringement.

Essentially, Patriot said Intel processors were violating its intellectual property, but it chose to target five of the chip giant's customers. However, Intel was quick to sue Patriot, which proceeded to countersue, in February 2004. The following April, Patriot went on to issue infringement-alleging lawsuits against 150 more PC companies.

The case has been quietly bubbling ever since. In February 2005, Intel's arch-rival, AMD, made an unspecified investment in Patriot to license the technology and other patents. In October, Patriot handed the case over to Technology Properties Limited (TPL), a company with which it had earlier allied itself. Patriot abandoned its lawsuits against the Japanese vendors, and TPL sued all but Sony almost immediately afterwards, chucking in the alleged infringement of a couple of its own patents for good measure.

At the time, Patriot said TPL would have a better chance of prevailing in the case than it would. The case was moved from Oakland to the US District Court of Eastern Texas, presumably because TPL figured it was more likely to win there.

Indeed, Patriot chairman and CEO David Pohl this week said the "transparent objective of these declaratory judgment lawsuits is to have the infringement claims determined in the California court, rather than in the Texas court where the local rules of the court make it highly likely that the patent infringement claims will be brought to trial within about one year".

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, we'd say. If one party can pick the court most likely to deliver the verdict it's after, the other party has a right to try and have the case brought to a court they believe will yield a better result.

The new lawsuits ask the California court to address the allegations made in the Eastern Texas court, and to declare that the 20 plaintiffs have not infringed the three patents jointly held by Patriot, TPL and one Charles H Moore. Furthermore, the court is asked to invalidate those three patents. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

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 cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.