During the six-day trial, VLSI, a patent-holding business associated with the SoftBank Group Corp., which is owned by private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, claimed that Intel's Cascade Lake and Skylake microprocessors infringed on its patent for data processing advancements.
A federal jury in Texas ruled on Tuesday that Intel Corp. must pay $948.8 million to VLSI Technology LLC for violating a patent for computer chips. The case is "one example of many that show the U.S. patent system is in urgent need of reform," according to an Intel spokeswoman, who also stated that the company "strongly disagrees" with the decision and plans to appeal.
The legal team for VLSI declined to comment on the judgment. In a separate Texas trial in March involving various chip patents, VLSI defeated Intel and obtained a roughly $2.2 billion award; Intel has since appealed. The next month, VLSI lost a second similar patent trial against Intel.
In the most recent trial, VLSI purchased the property from Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV. The jury granted VLSI the full amount of damages it sought, despite testimony from one of its attorneys during the trial that Intel's processors result in "millions and millions of infringements per second."
During the trial, an attorney for Mountain View, California-based Intel claimed that the company's engineers had independently developed its inventions and that its contemporary microprocessors would not function with VLSI's antiquated technology. In Northern California and Delaware, two other court proceedings involving patents that VLSI filed against Intel are still unresolved. In the California lawsuit, a trial is scheduled to start in 2024.
The headquarters of the American technology business Intel Corporation is in Santa Clara, California. It is one of the creators of the x86 series of instruction sets, which are the ones used in the majority of personal computers, and the largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips in the world by revenue.
For nearly a decade, from the 2007 through 2016 fiscal years, Intel, a Delaware-incorporated company, held the No. 45 spot on the 2020 Fortune 500 ranking of the biggest American firms by total revenue.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), VIA Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems, and Nvidia were among Intel's rivals in the PC chipset market. NXP Semiconductors, Infineon, Marvell Technology Group, Applied Micro Circuits Corporation, Samsung Electronics, Qimonda, Kioxia, STMicroelectronics, Micron, and SK Hynix are among Intel's rivals in the networking industry.
Since 1976, Intel and AMD have had full cross-licensing agreements that allow each party to use the other's patented technological innovations without paying a fee after a set period of time. The cross-licensing agreement is canceled, however, in the event of an AMD bankruptcy or takeover. AMD is the only significant competitor in the x86 processor market.