California, U.S.-based Intel will pay Intergraph U.S> $225 million to settle a long-running patent dispute, the companies have announced. Separately, Integraph says it has dismissed charges against PC maker Dell stemming from a related patent dispute.
Intel and Intergraph have been tangled in litigation since 2001, when Intergraph sued Intel for alleged infringement of two patents on parallel-computing technology. A Texas, U.S. court ruled in Intergraph's favor in late 2002, but an appeals court vacated that judgment in February, sending the case back to the lower court for further examination. Intel and Intergraph say their settlement resolves their disagreement and they will move for dismissal of the case.
The settlement grants Intel a license for Intergraph's patented Parallel Instruction Computing technology, and includes provisions preventing Intergraph from suing any Intel customers regarding product combinations involving Intel's microprocessors, chipsets and motherboards, Intel says.
That provision isn't retroactive, however, and Intergraph says it will continue its lawsuits against Gateway and Hewlett-Packard for alleged infringements stemming from their combinations of Intel hardware with their own products. Intergraph expects trial on that case to begin in August 2004.
Intergraph had also been pursuing a claim against Dell, but the agreement with Intel includes a clause letting Dell of the hook. Dell has an indemnification agreement with Intel, which Dell says obligates Intel to shield Dell from any patent-infringement claims arising from Dell's use of Intel's technology.
Intel representatives say the company disagrees with Dell's interpretation of the indemnification pact, but will resolve the dispute privately with Dell.
Integraph CEO Halsey Wise hails the Intel settlement as a demonstration of the effectiveness of Intergraph's intellectual property licensing and litigation strategy. (IDG News Service)
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