licensing company intel $900 million lawsuit

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licensing company intel $900 million lawsuit
U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp's logo is seen on their "smart building" in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, Israel December 15, 2019. Picture taken December 15, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

In a captivating twist in the legal arena, a federal judge in California has orchestrated a significant alteration in the landscape of a high-profile lawsuit. The case, a $900 million legal battle, pits a formidable licensing company against tech giant Intel. The crux of the dispute revolves around allegations of patent infringement, a drama playing out in the heart of Silicon Valley.

licensing company intel $900 million lawsuit : A Judge’s Decisive Move

U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman, in a strategic late Thursday decision, effectively dismantled key components of the licensing company’s claims. Her ruling, a prelude to a trial set for next year, boldly asserts that Intel’s microchips in the U.S. do not infringe upon one of VLSI’s patents. Furthermore, she deemed a second patent in question as indefinite, shaking the foundations of the lawsuit.

The Backstory: VLSI’s Aggressive Pursuit

The licensing company, VLSI, a puppet in the hands of investment funds managed by Fortress Investment Group LLC, acquired the patents at the heart of this legal skirmish for $35 million. These patents were previously held by NXP Semiconductors, a major European rival of Intel. Since this strategic acquisition, VLSI has been relentless in asserting these patents against Intel, painting a picture of a David versus Goliath battle in the technological realm.

licensing company intel $900 million lawsuit  : A Rollercoaster of Legal Battles

This California lawsuit is just the tip of the iceberg, with a jury trial in San Jose slated for March. VLSI’s initial legal onslaught began in 2017, marking the first of a series of lawsuits against Intel. Interestingly, subsequent lawsuits in Texas have already seen the light of day in court, resulting in staggering verdicts amounting to over $3 billion. However, this victory was short-lived as one of these verdicts crumbled under the scrutiny of an appeal, and the patents connected to a monumental $2.18 billion verdict were invalidated.

The Financial Stakes: A Tumultuous Journey

Originally, VLSI’s damage estimates in the California case soared over $5 billion. However, in a revealing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing by Intel, this figure has been dramatically slashed to approximately $900 million, adding another twist to this high-stakes legal saga.

licensing company intel $900 million lawsuit  : Silence from the Legal Eagles

Intriguingly, representatives for both VLSI and Intel have maintained a veil of silence, declining to comment on this latest development.

The Patents at the Heart of the Conflict

The patents central to this legal battle are U.S. Patent Nos. 8,566,836; 8,004,922; 7,675,806; and 8,268,672. These patents represent the battleground on which this legal war is being waged.

Legal Gladiators: The Representing Firms

VLSI’s legal charge is led by a team from Irell & Manella LLP, featuring Elizabeth C. Tuan, Ian R. Washburn, and others. On the other side, Intel’s defense is marshaled by the seasoned attorneys of WilmerHale, including Mark Selwyn and Mary Virginia Sooter.