Design change settles Intel/Via chip dispute

Via Technologies has chalked up another victory in its chipset patent infringement battle with Intel, but has been forced to...

Via Technologies has chalked up another victory in its chipset patent infringement battle with Intel, but has been forced to change a product so as not to infringe the patent.

A judge in the US District Court of Northern California granted Via a summary judgment on 5 November in a lawsuit Intel filed in 1999 related to technology Via used in a Socket A chipset for AMD's Athlon processor.

In making the ruling, the judge said Via demonstrated to the court that it had modified the chipset enough so that it does not violate Intel's patent. "We're fine with that," said Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy. "The product no longer infringes, so that leaves one more patent in the case."

A hearing on the final patent under dispute is scheduled for 22 January, Mulloy said. "We wouldn't be surprised if they [Via] modified their product based on this experience," he added.

Via declined to comment on either the summary judgment or the forthcoming hearing.

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