Intel this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against high-speed chip developer Broadcom and intensified its legal battle with Via Technologies.
The chip giant has accused Broadcom of infringing various patents for digital subscriber line modems, semiconductor packaging, and video compression and decompression technologies.
A Broadcom spokesman said the company was surprised by Intel's sudden action and would defend its position vigorously.
An Intel spokesman claimed that Broadcom does not respect Intel's intellectual property.
Intel has been lobbing legal grenades at Broadcom for some months. The latest lawsuit follows an ongoing trade secrets case being heard at the US Superior Court which began when Intel tried unsuccessfully to stop former employees of its Level One Communications subsidiary from jumping ship to join Broadcom. Intel acquired Level One in 1999 for $1.2bn.
Separately, Intel has accused Taiwanese chip maker Via of violating two more of its patents in the manufacturing of Via's AMD-compatible chipsets. The action follows a settlement between the two companies made in July over other alleged patent infringements.
Those complaints related to a 1998 cross licence agreement between Intel and Via concerning bus technology in Pentium II and III-compatible chipsets. Intel initially sued Via last June after it had become concerned that Via was claiming licences for components in its products which Intel had not granted.
In July, Via agreed to pay Intel an undisclosed lump sum and royalty fee relating to some of the Pentium 5 and 6 chipsets it produces. Intel this week asked the US District Court in San Francisco to allow it to amend its lawsuit to reflect the settlement as well as the new patent charges.
No representatives from Via were available for comment.
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