UK court throws out Via suit against Intel

A U.K. court has thrown out a complaint from Via Technologies Inc. against Intel Corp., in a continuing legal battle between the chip makers that extends over three continents.

Via claimed that it has the right to manufacture and sell chipsets compatible with the Pentium 4 from Intel and that Intel's attempt to keep the Taipei chip maker from doing so amounts to antitrust behavior. The Chancery Division of the High Court in London has disagreed.

"I am satisfied that, whatever the scope of the decisions of the European Court relied upon, Via has not pleaded a case which would satisfy even the widest reading of them," said Justice Lawrence Collins in his ruling issued on June 14.

The European Commission in May dropped its antitrust probe of Intel, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, after concluding that complaints it received toward the end of 2000 from two rivals were groundless.

The identity of the companies that sparked the probe by the European Union competition regulator -- believed to be Via and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, California -- have never been officially revealed, though the ruling by Collins confirmed Via's involvement in the complaint against Intel.

The two companies also have pending litigation in the U.S. and Asia.