VIA rejects Intel patent claim

Via Technologies announced that it has been unable to find evidence that Intel holds a patent for the disputed 400MHz front-side...

Via Technologies announced that it has been unable to find evidence that Intel holds a patent for the disputed 400MHz front-side bus used with the Pentium 4 processor.

Intel officials have repeatedly hinted at plans to take legal action against Via in relation to the P4X266, which Via has begun to ship to motherboard makers in Taiwan.

"We haven't broken any patents," said Richard Brown, Via's director of marketing. "As far as we know, we haven't infringed any of Intel's patents."

An Intel spokeswoman declined to comment on the possibility of legal action over the P4X266 and could not immediately confirm the patent status of the 400MHz bus.

In addition to the missing patent, Via has previously pointed to a cross-licensing agreement between S3 Graphics, which is affiliated with Via and Intel. Via claims the cross-licensing agreement covers the P4X266. Brown declined to comment on whether the P4X266 contains intellectual property from S3, but Via has plans to release a further chipset in November, the P4M266, which integrates a graphics core from S3 with the P4X266.

With the four largest motherboard makers delaying using the P4X266 because of the unresolved licensing issue with Intel, Via is counting on second-tier motherboard vendors to get the chipset into the market.

In addition, Via is offering to protect its customers from costs or damages related to Intel's legal action over the chipset. "We will indemnify them against any costs should Intel decide to go along this route," said Brown.

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