Embedded-microprocessor IP house MIPS Technologies Inc. filed its second suit against Lexra Inc. late Thursday, this time for patent infringement.
The charges involve Waltham, Mass.-based Lexra's LX 4- and 5-series of embedded microprocessors, the same parts Lexra at one time advertised as being "MIPS-compatible." After MIPS filed suit for trademark infringement, Lexra cut the phrase from its brochures and the suit was dropped.
Now, MIPS is claiming that at least some of those microprocessors infringe two of its patents, and is holding open the possibility that they may violate several more.
"It's a big market, and a big market opportunity, and you have to be able to protect it," said John Bourgoin, chief executive of MIPS, Mountain View, Calif.
Lexra founder, president, and chief executive Charlie Cheng said MIPS has notified his company of the alleged infringement. Cheng said up until the alert he had been under the impression that the two sides were still negotiating an agreement outside the courts.
"Obviously we're surprised by it," he said. "But he have every confidence that we have not infringed, and we will respond very shortly."
MIPS is seeking damages, an injunction against sale of certain Lexra products, and the destruction of existing supplies. The contested technology is protected by U.S. patent No. 4,814,976, which covers the reading and writing of data consisting of fractional word lengths.
Additionally, MIPS said Lexra's LX 4280 and LX 5280 infringe U.S. patent No. 5,864,703, which pertains to extended precision in SIMD vector calculations.