Via hits back with countersuit against Intel

After finding itself on the receiving end of legal action Friday, Taiwan's Via Technologies Inc. blasted back at rival Intel Corp. Monday, filing lawsuits of its own alleging patent infringement, fair trade law violations and destruction of Via property.

Lawsuits alleging patent infringement by Intel in its Pentium 4 processor and companion 845 chip set were filed in Taipei on Monday and will be filed later in the day on Monday in the U.S., said Richard Brown, a spokesman for Via.

"Both of them contain intellectual property that is owned by Via and therefore they are infringing our patent and we are seeking legal redress for that infringement," he said.

Brown declined to detail the technology or patents that his company alleges are being infringed upon by Intel.

"We can't provide full details right now," he said. "On the chip set and CPU there are certain things that we have patented and when we file to the court officially that information will be revealed."

The lawsuits represent a stepping-up of what had been until Friday a battle of words between the two companies. To date, chip sets from Intel for its Pentium 4 processor support only RDRAM (Rambus Dynamic Random Access Memory); however the company launched a new chip set, the 845, on Monday that supports much cheaper SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) and plans to release a version of the 845 that supports DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate SDRAM) in January.

Via has already released its own chip set, the P4X266, that supports DDR, however the company has not obtained a license from Intel for the 400MHz bus used with the Pentium 4. The company maintains Intel does not have a patent that covers the bus.

The lawsuits filed on Friday by Intel allege Via's P4X266 and upcoming P4M266 chip sets violate five patents associated with Intel's Pentium 4 processor. Brown dismissed those lawsuits. "We don't, as far as we know, infringe on any patents and now we will vigorously defend the claims in court that Intel is making against us."

Via also said it has separately begun litigation against Intel alleging violations of Taiwan's fair trade law and the willful destruction of Via property by Intel representatives and employees.

Threats, allegedly made by Intel to computer makers aimed at stopping them using Via's chip set, are violations of the fair trade law, said Brown.

"(Intel has violated the fair trade law) through the threats it has made to its customers and our customers, telling them if they use the Via P4X266 chip set Intel will take certain actions against them. They have threatened legal action against the customers and also other sanctions, such as lack of availability of product. We have clear evidence that is being done," he said.

And, perhaps demonstrating the level to which the battle between these companies has sunk, Via is also seeking to prosecute Intel employees for allegedly taking down its posters and balloons at the Computex 2001 trade show that was held in Taipei in June.

"It might sound a little bit petty but it is clear vandalism of our property. If you had a bunch of kids who are pulling down posters or signs from outside shops in shopping malls then that is regarded as vandalism," he said. "This is criminal action and therefore we are filing criminal suits against the individuals that were involved or the ones that gave those instructions to destroy Via property."

Intel could not immediately be reached for comment.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?