In what is lining up to be a rerun of the argument over Via Technologies' ability to sell chipsets for Pentium III PCs, Intel and Via have launched lawsuits against each other over the Pentium 4.
Intel filed its claim in the US District Court of Delaware last Friday (7 September), claiming five patent infringements by Via in its recently launched Pentium 4 chipset. Intel has said a licence is needed by any chipset maker wanting to hook up to its processor.
This morning (10 September) Via filed against Intel in Taiwan on a range of issues, ranging from patent infringement through to allegations of "wilful destruction of Via property". The company said it plans to file in the US later.
Via claimed Intel representatives and employees destroyed Via property during the Computex tradeshow held in Taipei during June. It is understood that this refers to attempts to pull down some balloons at the conference. Alongside, Via has filed a case that alleges violations of the Taiwanese Fair Trade Law, over Intel's attempts to convince motherboard makers not to use the Via chipset.
In its patent case, Via has claimed that Intel itself infringes the Taiwanese company's patents in both the Pentium 4 and the i845 chipset. Up to now Via has said it believes it has access to the necessary Pentium 4 patents through its acquisition of S3, which obtained a Pentium 4 licence.
A spokeswoman for Intel said she could not comment on the Via claims and added: "Intel feels that Via has not licensed the technology either directly or indirectly."