Texas Instruments settles patent dispute


Texas Instruments settles patent dispute

Texas Instruments has agreed to license Intergraph's patents on parallel processing technology, ending the legal battle between the two companies.

The dispute was related to three Intergraph patents regarding its parallel instruction computing (PIC) technology. The company claimed that Texas Instruments' TMS320C6000 digital signal processors infringed upon its patents by using the PIC technology in those products.

Texas Instruments' will license the technology through the one-time payment of $18m as a royalty fee.

Intergraph is suing three PC companies - Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Gateway - in a separate patent dispute which is scheduled to begin next August. It claimed that those companies infringed on cache memory management technology that it had patented.

It has also pursued patent infringement claims against Intel, which has cost Intel $150m so far, as part of a monetary damages agreement.

During the Intel trial, a judge said Intergraph's patents were "valid and enforceable", and that Intel's Itanium 2 server processor infringed upon those patents.

Intergraph used to manufacture its own line of technical workstations and graphics technology which used an internally developed processor called Clipper. The technology that was to become part of the next-generation Clipper processor is involved in the patent cases between Intergraph, Texas Instruments and Intel.

Intergraph sold those businesses in 2000 after a licensing dispute with Intel.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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