In the semiconductor and hardware sector, Intel is one of the most important companies. Founded in 1968, it has been developing processors and other types of chipsets for decades and operates its own foundry, IFS. The company mainly focuses on CPUs and has been engaged in a legal patent battle with a firm called VLSI for years. Despite VLSI’s efforts, Intel emerges as the winner again and avoids paying a $2.18 billion patent lawsuit that has been pending since 2021.
It was in March 2021 when VLSI accused Intel of infringing on two of its patents, demanding a payment of over $2 billion. The two patents specifically related to clock frequency control and the minimum operating voltage of memory. When the announcement was made about the fine, VLSI was seeking a third of Intel’s net revenues for the year 2020, which would have done significant harm if paid.
Intel avoids paying the VLSI lawsuit filed in 2021, which demanded $2.18 billion
Over time, Intel managed to avoid paying the steadily increasing amount claimed by VLSI. VLSI took advantage of the situation by accusing the popular semiconductor company of infringing on additional patents, driving up the sum to be paid. By the end of last year, Intel avoided paying a $4 billion lawsuit to VLSI after being accused of infringing on five new patents.
While it seemed that everything had ended, the first lawsuit that started it all was still unresolved. Several years have passed, and Intel has not had to pay the hefty amount, as it has successfully nullified the $2.18 billion fine imposed in 2021. According to the appeals court, there is insufficient evidence to accuse Intel of patent infringement.
There may be a new trial to determine the compensation for one of VLSI’s patents
In the first of the patents related to processor and memory voltages, the appeals court did not find enough evidence to determine if Intel was guilty and therefore returned the case to the Texas court. With the second patent related to power distribution in multi-processor CPUs, the court indicated that there was infringement. However, Intel managed to avoid it because the method used to impose the fine was incorrect. Specifically, the court believes that VLSI’s infringement of the second patent would involve other processors that did not infringe. In this case, there might be a new trial to determine adequate compensation.
For now, Intel avoids paying the massive sum of $2.18 billion, which was divided into $1.5 billion in damages and losses from the first patent, with the remainder directed to the second. VLSI claimed that these technologies, used in the Haswell and Broadwell processors launched in 2013-2014, were its own. According to VLSI’s accusation, Intel achieved an extra 5.45% performance through the use of these patents.