Image source: Intel
A US judge rejected Intel Corporation’s request to throw out a jury verdict ordering the company to pay VLSI Technology $2.18 billion for infringing patents related to chip-making technology.
In a sealed order issued late Monday, Judge Alan Albright of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas denied Intel’s motion for a new trial and allowed the second largest patent verdict in US history to stand.
In March, a jury found that Intel infringed two patents owned by VLSI and owed $2.18 billion in damages. VLSI had sued Intel in 2019, claiming that Intel had sold almost 1 billion microchips that infringed on VLSI's patents, which cover how processors determine frequency and voltage to provide the best possible performance.
The verdict amount — which amounts to about $2 per chip — is roughly a tenth of Intel’s yearly profits.
The Verge pointed out that, up until 2019, VLSI Technology was not a very active company and “seemingly rose from the dead specifically to sue.”
Originally an integrated circuit manufacturer in the 1990s, VLSI is now a non-practicing, patent-owning entity and affiliate of Fortress Investment Group. VLSI no longer makes or sells any products, but in 2019 became owner of the two patents in question, which were previously held by NXP Semiconductors.
In its request for a new trial, Intel claimed the verdict was tainted by erroneous jury instructions and evidentiary rulings. It also said the decision appeared to be based on earlier Intel settlements that were not comparable, Reuters reported.
A different Waco jury ruled in Intel’s favor on April 21 in a separate patent infringement lawsuit in which VLSI had sought $3.1 billion.
Following that trial, Intel said it was “pleased the jury rejected VLSI’s meritless claims.”
“VLSI is a shell company created by Fortress, a Softbank-owned hedge fund, for the sole purpose of extracting billions from innovators like Intel,” the company said.
The May verdict came at the conclusion of the second in a series of three separate cases over VLSI’s patents. A third trial focused on different patents has not been scheduled yet.
Source: Equities News