LONDON ARM Holdings plc has won a significant round in the long running legal dispute with Technology Properties Limited, Inc. and Patriot Scientific Corporation over the Moore Microprocessor Patent (MMP) portfolio, with the U.S.Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirming that the Cambridge, England based company's products do not infringe the patent.
TPL and Patriot previously admitted that core families belonging to ARM should be deemed non-infringing and granted exclusion from the original MMP infringement trial in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas.
As a result ARM was removed as an "intervener" in the trial. The move was announced by TPL as part the granting of its motion to simplify and streamline the trial.
However, TPL said at the time it could appeal the non-infringement ruling immediately rather than waiting for the end of the trial.
And last October, Technology Properties Ltd. , the company that administers the Moore Microprocessor Patent intellectual property portfolio, filed an appeal to reverse the June 18, 2007 Markman ruling that excluded the ARM processor cores from the ongoing patent trial.
A statement issued by TPL at the time claimed all system companies excepting its licensees that use ARM-based processors infringe patents owned by TPL. The chairman of TPL said that the longer infringers wait before paying for a license the more they would pay.
The original Markman ruling concerned the 'instruction groups' claim construction for U.S. Patent 5,784,584 in the Moore microprocessor patent portfolio.
The ARM products covered by the binding decision of non-infringement include the ARM7 ARM9, ARM9E ARM10E, ARM11 and Cortex microprocessor cores.
Since January 2006 over 30 companies from the US, Europe, Japan, Korea and Taiwan have purchased MMP Portfolio licenses.
The MMP portfolio includes seven U.S. patents, as well as their European and Japanese counterparts, which Patriot (San Diego, Calif,) and TPL Group (Cupertino, Calif.) have said they consider fundamental to the design of modern microprocessors, microcontrollers and system-on-chip devices. Three of the patents are: U.S. Patent 5,809,336, which covers the separate clocking of a CPU and its I/O; U.S. Patent 6,598,148, which covers the use of multiple cores and embedded memory; and U.S. Patent 5,784,584, which covers fetching multiple instructions.
TPL formed an alliance with Patriot Scientific Corp. in 2005 and pooled processor technology patents together to create the Moore Microprocessor Patent (MMP) portfolio, named after Charles H. Moore, chief technology officer of TPL Group, who is credited with inventing the Forth software programming language and is known for his work in the 1980s on stack-based microprocessors.
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