TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Via Technologies Inc. here today claimed victory in a long and bitter lawsuit with Intel Corp. over U.S. patent rights in Via's chip sets supporting Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s K7 microprocessors.
On Tuesday, Intel dismissed the final claims in its lawsuit after agreeing that Via's chip set products had been redesigned and did not infringe upon its U.S. patents (No. 5,926,651 and 5,051,622).
Under an agreement with Via, Intel said it had dropped its patent infringement suit, which was filed in July 2000. The suit was scheduled for trial on Jan. 22, according to Intel, which today said it retains all rights to the patents in the case and it could bring a new suit against Via at a later time if future infringements occur.
As part of the agreement, Via dismissed its counterclaims in the dispute against the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant.
No payments of any kind have been made to Intel, according to Via. The Taiwan chip maker also said it will not pay a royalty to Intel, and its K7-based chip sets are no longer subject to a possible injunction from this litigation.
"We could not be more delighted with this result," declared Wen-Chi Chen, CEO and president of Via. "We believed from the outset that Intel's claims against our K7 chip sets were driven by marketing concerns rather than legal issues, and the court's orders granting summary judgment for Via and Intel's dismissal of its last claim validate this belief."
The legal battles between Intel and Via are far from over, however. Recently, Intel filed a separate suit against Via, claiming that Via's Pentium 4-compliant chip set is infringing upon Intel's patents.
In response, Via filed suit against Intel, saying that Intel's Pentium 4 processors are infringing upon Via's patents.
"Our hope is that our differences with Intel regarding the Pentium 4 can be resolved short of protracted litigation like the case we just won," Chen said. "Competition should be in the marketplace, not in the courtroom."