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Scientists sue Intel in Core 2 Duo clash

Patented tech used without permission, boffins claim

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A band of boffins is suing Intel, claiming the chip giant pinched their patented technology and used it in the Core 2 Duo processor design without their say-so.

The patent application was filed way back in 1996 and granted in 1998, long before the advent of the Core 2 Duo design. It details a "table-based data speculation circuit for [a] parallel processing computer", in which the chip makes a guess on what program instructions are likely to be coming up next by refering to a data table holding information on past predictions that proved incorrect.

The reseachers work was carried out at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the lawsuit was filed on their behalf by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (Warf), EETimes reports. Warf is a non-profit organisation.

In a complaint filed with the US District Court of Western Wisconsin, Warf maintains the Core 2 Duo platform makes use of just such an approach. Warf approached Intel in 2001 with a view to licensing the technology to the chip giant, but its overtures were rejected, the organisation claimed.

Four years later, IBM agreed to license the technology, but only after Warf had initiated legal proceedings against it. The two settled out of court.

We suspect that's what will happen this time around. In the meantime, Warf is asking the court to declare that Intel's Core 2 Duo product infringe its patents, to block the sale of said chippery, and to award it compensation and damages.

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