SAN JOSE -- The U.S. International Trade Commission said it plans to investigate Xilinx Inc.'s charges of patent infringement against Altera Corp.
No immediate action against San Jose-based Altera is likely, as the ITC isn't expected to rule before the third quarter of 2001, according to Xilinx officials. Altera would also be able to appeal any ITC ruling in court.
Xilinx, also based here, has charged Altera with infringing three of its patents in its Flex, Apex and Acex lines of programmable devices. Should Altera be found guilty, the ITC could ban the import of any infringing products into the United States. Nearly all of the Altera products involved in the ITC case are manufactured, assembled or tested offshore.
Xilinx filed its complaint with the ITC early this month after winning a patent-infringement suit against Altera in U.S. District Court (see Dec. 4 story). The patents involved in that case are different from those in the ITC case.
Altera officials have said they plan to appeal the U.S. District Court's decision.