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Intel hit with $948.8 mln U.S. verdict in VLSI computer chip patent trial

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A federal jury in Texas on Tuesday said Intel Corp (INTC.O) must pay VLSI Technology LLC $948.8 million for infringing a VLSI patent for computer chips.

VLSI, a patent-holding company affiliated with the SoftBank Group Corp-owned private equity firm Fortress Investment Group, argued during the six-day trial that Intel’s Cascade Lake and Skylake microprocessors violated its patent covering improvements to data processing.

An Intel spokesperson said the company “strongly disagrees” with the verdict ands plans to appeal, and that the case is “one example of many that shows the U.S. patent system is in urgent need of reform.”

Representatives for VLSI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Last March VLSI won a nearly $2.2 billion verdict from Intel in a separate Texas trial over different chip patents, which Intel has appealed. VLSI lost another related patent trial against Intel the following month.

VLSI bought the patent in the latest trial from Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV (NXPI.O).

An attorney for VLSI said at trial that Intel’s chips cause “millions and millions of infringements per second.” The jury awarded the company the full amount of damages it requested.

A lawyer for Mountain View, California-based Intel said during the trial that the company’s engineers developed its innovations independently, and that its modern microprocessors would not work with VLSI’s outdated technology.

Two other patent cases brought by VLSI against Intel are still pending in Northern California and Delaware. A trial in the California case is set to begin in 2024.

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