Feeds

20 Japanese giants sue US processor patent holder

Tables turned on Patriot Scientific

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.