Intel and Broadcom have reached a settlement over their bitter trade secrets lawsuits, but a patent infringement case against the latter remains outstanding.
An out-of-court settlement has been agreed by Intel over its lawsuit which accuses Broadcom of trade secret violations. At the same time, Broadcom has settled its cross-complaint against Intel.
Both companies refused to disclose specific details of the settlements, but in a joint statement the pair said they were "satisfied" with the outcome. An Intel spokesman said the company prefers to come to an arrangement over litigation whenever possible. "We look for a way to settle these matters," he said.
High-speed communications chip maker Broadcom had asked a California superior court for a preliminary injunction against Intel to stop it from shipping or selling products that Broadcom claims are the result of stolen trade secrets.
In its suit, Broadcom alleged that Intel obtained confidential Broadcom-developed communications chips from a third party, and used them to accelerate the development of its own chips.
Intel had filed a suit against Broadcom a month earlier, claiming that the smaller competitor had been systematically pursuing employees at Intel's Level One Communications subsidiary and copying the company's technology as part of a "carefully crafted plan".
In spite of today's settlement, Intel still has a separate patent infringement case pending against Broadcom. Intel charges that Broadcom violated five Intel patents, one relating to networking, one to chip packaging and three to video compression.
According to Broadcom, of the five patents asserted by Intel, four are related to areas where Broadcom conforms to widely followed industry standards. The other is a 12 year-old patent that appears to relate to networking systems rather than integrated circuits. Broadcom said it is unable to identify any of its products that relate to it.
A Broadcom spokesman said that Intel did not try to resolve any problems before filing this suit. "Contrary to public statements, Intel made no effort that we are aware of to alert us, or seek to resolve any issues," he said.
President and chief executive Henry Nicholas referred to Intel's patent suit as "baseless" and called its claims "provocative".
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