A federal jury has asked Intel to pay a whopping amount of USD 2.18 billion for infringing two patents of a semiconductor. The jury has asked the tech giant to pay the money after it lost a patent infringement trial. The Texas jury said that the company infringed patents owned by VLSI Technology. Interestingly, the company has not existed for around two decades. The jury found USD 675 million for infringement of one patent and USD 1.5 billion for the other. The jury rejected the argument by Intel in the matter and also didn’t buy arguments that one of the two patent infringement cases was invalid as it included work done by professionals of Intel.
VLSI came from nowhere in 2019 just to sue Intel for patent infringement. It was a free company before 1999 when the semiconductor design was purchased by Philips for USD 1 billion. The assets were later transferred to Philips spinoff NXP. Reports suggest that NXP will get a cut of damage award that Intel will pay. VLSI has no products and the only way of making money for the company is through this lawsuit. Intel lawyer William Lee said that the two patents were not used for several years and the company said they want USD billion. “This is a completely outrageous demand by VLSI and it would tax innovators,” he said.
While Intel has pledged to appeal, Lee argued that the company deserved to be paid no more than USD 2.2 million. “Intel strongly believes that our appeal will prevail.” VLSI lawyer stated that inventions that increase the power and speed of processors are covered under the patents. Reports suggest that both the patents were transferred to VLSI in 2019. Earlier to this, one was given to Freescale Semiconductor Inc in 2012 and the other to SigmaTel Inc in 2010. VLSI lawyer said that Intel purposely avoids finding out if it was using the invention of someone else.