Intel Sued Over Chip Patents

On Wednesday, Intel was sued by Transmeta, which said that the semiconductor giant violated ten of its processor design and power efficiency techniques patents. According to IDG News, Transmeta listed Intelis Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core, and Core 2 processors as those in violation; it asked for an injunction keeping the company from selling those products. Apple uses the Core and Core 2 processors in its Macs.

Transmeta CEO Arthur Swift, speaking of discussions between the two companies that had been happening "off and on, for years," explained: "Friendly win-win discussions between the two parties had broken down and we thought it was appropriate now to turn to the courts." Intel declined to comment, citing a lack of time for its lawyers to review the filing.

Transmeta began its existence in 1995, going after the laptop market with its Crusoe processor, which promised lower power usage but failed to catch on with consumers. After nine consecutive years of losses, the company last year turned its attention to licensing its technology, which includes LongRun, a patented method for adjusting processor voltage based on workload. LongRun is among the ten patents cited in the lawsuit.