LONDON -- The label 'ARM11' took on a new meaning for me when I found out that processor IP licensor ARM Holdings plc paid out $11 million as the first part of an out-of-court settlement of a 2001 patent infringement lawsuit with the shareholders of PicoTurbo (see October 21 story).
One purpose of settling out of court, which means foregoing your day there, but also avoids the potentially dangerous business of having patents contested, is to get things over and done with and put behind you.
The fact that the PicoTurbo business rumbles on, now associated with the Herodion name, and that it may yet cost ARM more money, means that didn't happen. The fact that ARM did not go to court at the time and was willing to shell out $11 million would seem to be an encouragement to others to try and bring ARM instruction set machines to market.
So ARM will probably end up having its day in court anyway, or rather, many days in court. As ARM chief executive officer Warren East said on today's conference call to discuss the company's most recent results, he expects litigation to be an on-going part of ARM's business.
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