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Patent infringement dating back to the Pentium 3

This week Transmeta Corporation announced that it filed a lawsuit against Intel claiming that Intel infringed on several patents that belong to Transmeta. Interestingly, Transmeta is claiming that the patents Intel had infringed on dates back all the way to the Pentium 3 processor and carries forward to even Core 2 products. Why Transmeta did not bring up the subject several years ago is unknown.

Transmeta is requesting that an injunction be placed on Intel, preventing it from selling products that infringed on Transmeta patents, and is also requesting that Intel have to pay for damages including legal fees. Transmeta's executive vice president John O'Hara Horsley said "Transmeta has developed a strong portfolio of intellectual property rights to capture and protect our proud legacy of developing advanced computing and microprocessor technologies."

Despite bringing Intel into court, both Transmeta and Intel had cooperated with each other on many occassions. Both companies have used each other's technologies in products. Transmeta said however that it felt it was not fairly compensated for its technology and thus must turn to the courts for a solution. "We believe that the action we have taken today is an appropriate step to return value to our stockholders from our investments over the past decade," said Arthur L. Swift, CEO of Transmeta.

Intel so far has not responded.

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By ixelion on 10/13/2006 1:10:16 PM , Rating: 1
What technology has Intel stolen? Don't Transmeta CPUs offload some of the CPU functions to the OS? Is that what Intel stole?


RE: ?
By Phynaz on 10/13/2006 1:39:10 PM , Rating: 4
It involves power and registers.

One patent has to do with slowing down the chip when when not under load.

Another one involves a register that can contain both integer and floating values - such as how MMX being integer actually uses the floting point registers.

I think there is a toal of nine patents.

RE: ?
By FITCamaro on 10/13/2006 1:42:55 PM , Rating: 1
You'd think they'd have sued before now considering the Pentium 3 hasn't been sold in anything other than the Xbox for about 4-5 years.

RE: ?
By RandomFool on 10/13/2006 2:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's not saying it was just the P3 but everything since the P3.

From the article: "The complaint charges that Intel has infringed and is infringing Transmeta's patents by making and selling a variety of microprocessor products including at least Intel's Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core and Core 2 product lines."

RE: ?
By kamel5547 on 10/13/2006 3:17:33 PM , Rating: 4
Yes if they were aware, however since several of the patents involve decreasing power consumption it may not have been apparent until recently that Intel was infringing on the patents (after all who would have associated lowered power consumption and the P4?). I'm sure that once the Pentium M came out it probably raised the question, but I would expect it would take some time to: 1) disect the processor enough to be sure the patents were involved. 2) attempt to come to an agreement on back payments since they are already partners. Suing in such a case is the last resort as Intel could drag this out for years if they chose.

RE: ?
By Phynaz on 10/13/2006 3:52:52 PM , Rating: 4
That's nice, I get modded down for a factual answer to a question.

RE: ?
By shamgar03 on 10/13/2006 4:13:09 PM , Rating: 3
...modded down...

+1 for good facts =)

RE: ?
By hannons on 10/13/2006 2:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
You would think they would have brokered the deal before sharing the technology. It seems idiotic in today's business world to just say "Hey, let's share technology. We'll work out the payment/trade later."
It's a testament to poor leadership on Transmeta's part.

RE: ?
By kamel5547 on 10/13/2006 3:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well I think the article refers to other patent sharing agreements and not to this specific technology. Just because Transmeta agreed to let Intel use other technologies would not have given them the right to use the particular technologies in question.

RE: ?
By JonnyBlaze on 10/13/06, Rating: 0
RE: ?
By Phynaz on 10/13/06, Rating: 0
Welcome to the US
By phatboye on 10/13/2006 1:07:01 PM , Rating: 3
Can't beat 'em? Sue 'em!

That's our motto.

RE: Welcome to the US
By DigitalFreak on 10/13/2006 3:03:31 PM , Rating: 1
Because I agree with phatboye...

Can't beat 'em? Sue 'em!

That's our motto.

Be interesting to see how this shakes out
By rcc on 10/13/2006 1:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
Because I'm reading that Transmeta has decided that they need more money than was agreed to in past dealings, and is going to the courts to try to get it.

By Janooo on 10/13/2006 1:58:39 PM , Rating: 2
... or there is a disagreement on some parts and they want an arbiter to decide how much they are supposed to get paid.

Problem with american business
By blwest on 10/13/2006 1:06:34 PM , Rating: 3
It's all about the shareholders. What ever happened to ethics? American business ethics= "It's ok as long as the shareholder benefits"

Go Injunction!
By Some1ne on 10/13/2006 9:11:08 PM , Rating: 3
I hope they immediately ban the sale of any additional Core 2 based processors forevermore. Then the two that I have will increase exponentially in value, and I can sell the slower one on e-bay, and keep the faster one for myself.

By Spivonious on 10/13/2006 1:25:27 PM , Rating: 2
When was the last time you could get a system that had a Crusoe processor in it? Transmeta's just after some publicity.

I suspect that Intel uses some of Transmeta's power-saving ideas in their chips (probably starting with the P3-M).

By phymon on 10/13/06, Rating: 0
By TacticalTrading on 10/16/2006 9:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
They had been in negotiations for a very long time,
Finally decided that Intel was taking a...Maybe they will just go away...approach with no intention of ever compensating them.

Lol... lame.
By vhx on 10/13/2006 3:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why Transmeta did not bring up the subject several years ago is unknown.

and is also requesting that Intel have to pay for damages including legal fees.

Most likely 'damages' will be equal to how many processors of those type they have sold. In other words, they waited for years so as processors sold more, they had the opportunity to sue for more. Obvious much?

Intel to buy Transmeta
By OddTSi on 10/13/2006 3:33:32 PM , Rating: 2
Seeing as how Transmeta is only worth a couple hundred million dollars, I'm sure if it appears that the case is about to gain any traction Intel will probably just buy Transmeta. But then maybe that's what Transmeta wants.

If they have a reason...
By ajfink on 10/13/2006 4:05:55 PM , Rating: 2
Like someone said, if they have a reason, go ahead. If they were to win, the amount of money they would make would keep them afloat for a few more years.

Transmeta doesn't necessarily make bad CPUs, there just isn't as big of a market for them. They specialize in tiny and extremely low power usage (oddly enough, AMD and Intel are heading that way now, but with significantly greater performance).

By shamgar03 on 10/13/2006 4:15:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah...thats not going to happen. If they forced Intel to stop selling everything that infringes on these patents and that includes everything since the P3 Intel would be pretty much out of business. I am sure they will just pay a healthy bri...settlement

sue the mother fu***s
By mforce on 10/14/2006 7:32:56 AM , Rating: 2
And there you have it again . A company who failed to actually make something useful to somebody just like so many others ( SCO for example ) is deciding to sue somebody who has the success and the cash .
Don't get me wrong here , I've been called an AMD fandboy and I like Transmeta for hiring Linus but this sue 'em thing should slow down a bit IMO.

By CZroe on 10/14/2006 9:08:48 AM , Rating: 2
This obviously doesn't cover all PIII CPUs either or else it would encompass PII CPUs. The first PIII CPUs (Katami) were essentially 450 & 500MHz 100FSB PII CPUs with SSE and a controversial new CPU ID "feature." Transmeta couldn't have had those patented, because they are in every other manufacturer's CPU these days. So their patents involving the PIII must cover advancements later implemented... Coppermine or Tualatin? Actually, it sounds like the first SpeedStep technology mobile PIII is what triggered it, though it had nothing to do with CPU load like the mentioned patent mentions. The original SpeedStep would throttle the CPU *when you told it to* via a utility or a setting that automatically changes it when you switch to or from battery power. You only had two speed settings too. :(

By InlineFive on 10/19/2006 7:58:52 PM , Rating: 2
I'm surprised that they even had the cash to sue! :D

All previous post made by Intel employes?
By MrKaz on 10/13/06, Rating: 0
By Ratwar on 10/14/2006 5:16:50 PM , Rating: 1
Intel obviously doesn't have the most... truthful business practices. I think we can all agree on that, but I draw the line where Transmeta attempts to stop Intel from selling the Core 2 Processors, which they are trying to do, according to the article. Why are they doing this? Obviously, Intel cannot allow such a huge segment of it's product line to sit in warehouses for any length of time. It is worth millions of dollars a day to Intel. Transmeta's goal here is to screw Intel into either an out of court settlement or buying Transmeta. Perhaps it has gone the other way around in the past, but right now, Intel is the one in danger of getting hurt.

Of course, they can sue all they want, and for all I know they might have totally legitament reasons to sue. Still, Intel has delivered the majority of consumer processors for years now. You don't do that without providing a product with a compeditive performance/price ratio.

By L33tMasta on 10/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Jealous
By KaiserCSS on 10/13/2006 1:53:04 PM , Rating: 5
You, sir, are a total twit.

RE: Jealous
By therealnickdanger on 10/13/06, Rating: -1
RE: Jealous
By DigitalFreak on 10/13/2006 3:01:07 PM , Rating: 3
I mean, why doesn't Intel sue everyone else for copying their design?

They tried and failed.

Our story begins a long, long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away... Ah, screw it. Go read this -

RE: Jealous
By Phynaz on 10/13/2006 3:14:49 PM , Rating: 1
Not entirely.
From your linked article.

On December 30, 1994 the Supreme Court of California finally formally denied AMD rights to use the i386's microcode.

RE: Jealous
By therealnickdanger on 10/13/2006 4:01:59 PM , Rating: 1
They tried and failed.

It was a rhetorical question. I'm well aware of the history. ;-) Everybody hates #1.

RE: Jealous
By kamel5547 on 10/13/2006 3:30:02 PM , Rating: 3
Yes but:
a) Intel licensed their x86 instructions to these companies
b) Transmeta does not manufacture processors any longer
c) Intel has licensed instructions from AMD (64-bit extensions)
d) If it weren't for these companies we'd be looking at the Pentium 4 4Ghz edition w/ water cooling required.

RE: Jealous
By Phynaz on 10/13/06, Rating: -1
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