Intel Forced To Pay Billions After Court Loss
Intel has been ordered to pay $2.18 billion USD ($2.8 billion AUD) in a patent lawsuit to a company that has since been sold.
VLSI Technology, which had not been an independent company since it was bought by Philips in 1999, was resurrected by Fortress Investment Group in 2019. According to Bloomberg, the new VLSI sued Intel for infringing three processor-related patents
In arguments to the jury, Intel lawyer William Lee slammed VLSI as a dead brand with no products, saying it “took two patents off the shelf that hadn’t been used for 10 years and said, ‘We’d like $2 billion’.”
The Texas jurors, however, awarded VLSI $1.5 billion and $675 million in damages for infringing two of the patents, a combined figure that represents approximately one tenth of Intel’s yearly profit. A cut of the damages will go to NXP Semiconductors (below), a Dutch chipmaker which used to hold the patents.
In a statement, Intel said it “strongly disagrees” with the jury’s verdict, and is confident that it will win an appeal.
The original VLSI was part of the Apple and Acorn project to develop the first ARM processors.