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Patent infringement suits ramp up for the holiday season

In what appears to be a bit of a shocker in the industry, Silicon Graphics Inc. this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ATI Technologies Inc. Current details on the patent infringement is short but SGI is claiming that ATI infringed on SGI U.S. Patent No. 6,650,327, which covers some technical aspect of graphics processing. Details on what exactly the patent is about was also omitted.

Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) is also seeking damages at an unspecified amount and an injunction, stopping ATI from developing and shipping graphics processors that infringe on SGI's patents. At this time, it's not clear what ATI has done, or if ATI will respond with its own lawsuit since both companies have been developing graphics technologies for quite a number of years.

"The Company's technology covered by the '327 patent is an important resource in achieving enhanced graphics processing demanded by today's computer systems," said Dennis McKenna, chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics. The company also indicated that whatever patent 327 was, it also licensed it for use with a number of ATI's competitors -- although the company did not indicate which companies were using the patent.

ATI itself recently completed the final stages of its merger with AMD. ATI shareholders approved of the merger in a recent meeting and both companies are now one. Neither AMD nor it's ATI division had anything to say about SGI's lawsuit.

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By Milliamp on 10/25/2006 3:21:17 PM , Rating: 2
Most of their 3D graphics patents were xfered to MS back in 2002. Their IRIX and MIPS lines are effectively dinosaurs.

All of their best talent has gone away to work at other company’s.

The company literally has no other future outside selling AMD/Linux systems, a segment that is already effectively cornered by so many other players.

They literally emerged from bankruptcy with little more than a name and some old patents.

Given that AMD now owns ATI and this move isn't like to make them any friends in the industry, I think they are probably less interested in a rebirth of the company as a tech superpower and more interested in the business model that is working so well for SCO right now.

Now lets see if we can find some nVidia or Intel money involved in standing this company back up on its feet. I sure wouldn't be surprised.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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