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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Litigation Nation: Transmeta And Intel In Court


Transmeta claims that Intel chips, based partly on Transmeta IP, have accounted for $100 billion in sales. And, Transmeta wants some of that. So, let's go to court. Of course, Transmeta's stock has fallen from $2.32 in May to $1.12. The legal system may be all they have.

Tech company suits based on patent infringement and antitrust grow by the week. AMD is after Intel for anticompetive behavior and has pulled the European Union into that fight. AMD has had trouble getting US courts to agree that it has been harmed, so why not turn to Europe.

Microsoft is getting beat up in Europe over its Windows Media Player multimedia monopoly, and now Symantec is entreating the EU to look into whether MSFT's new PC security software may illegally block Symantec products. And, the Microsoft product isn't even out yet. But, why not get an early start.

Of course, Broadcom and Qualcomm are at each other's throats and have a total of 10 IP suits against each other involving their chip technologies.

The battlefield for tech dominance is moving from the R&D lab and marketing departments into the courts. The customer is being taken out of the equation. That's too bad since they are the ones who pay the bills.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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