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Intel and Nvidia will settle a patent case

Attack dogs leashed
Thu Dec 02 2010, 12:27

CHIPSET RIVALS Intel and Nvidia have agreed to settle a patent lawsuit.

Chipzilla and the Green Goblin have been engaged in legal wrangling since March 2009. At the time Nvidia accused Intel of violating a cross-licensing agreement that let both companies use each others' technology.

Now anonymous sources at Bloomberg who are close to the matter say that both companies want to settle their claims and counterclaims.

A trial was set to begin on 6 December but the companies have cancelled their appointment in court.

The companies have been fighting over the licensing of chipsets. According to Nvidia, it had a legal right to build anything that used Intel's Nehalem architecture. Intel said that wasn't so and requested a court order.

Intel was the first company to run to the courts, asking a judge to rule that the cross-licensing agreements covered only current products. In other words, Intel wanted to free itself from the agreement for its future roadmap.

Nvidia filed a countersuit alleging that Intel was in breach of contract. The chip designer also wanted to prevent Intel from developing hardware that used some of Nvidia's patents.

The ex-partners saw their relationship sour after Intel started offering integrated graphics chips to PC manufacturers in 2008. Intel's graphics sales sky-rocketed but Nvidia saw the move as anti-competitive abuse because Intel's graphics chips are bundled into the CPU package. With integrated CPU and GPU parts able to handle the processing power required for multi-media playback, Nvidia saw Intel's graphics chips cut into its GPU marketshare. µ


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