Intel sued for Core 2 Duo patent infringement by University

Although Intel's mighty proud of the Core 2 Duo, it looks like the chip wasn't all home-grown - a lawsuit filed today by the University of Wisconsin claims that the processor infringes on patented technology developed by one of its professors. Back in 1998, CS department chair Gurindar Sohi presented some of his developments relating to instruction level parallelism to Intel and offered to license them, but got nowhere - yet the same technology is in the Core 2 Duo, according to the lawsuit. For its part, Intel says it's been talking to the Badgers for over a year now, and that it hasn't evaluated the complaint - which it might want to do in short order, since the University is asking for the court to halt shipments of the Core 2 Duo in addition to monetary damages and legal fees.

News source: WARF News via Engadget
View: [PDF] Formal Complaint to Court

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Activision sales are surging from GH3 and CoD4

Next Story

NeowinCAST News Edition for February 7th, 2008

54 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Hehe reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer unsucessfully pitches his beach perfume concept to Calvin Klein and they end up creating it later on.

Silly of the university to try and force all shipments to be halted, as if they loose then Intel could sue them big time!

Its not like they benefit much by halting the shipments.

hmm. so what about AMD? they have dual core CPUs too :). I have been using AMD for over 10 years now.

I hope AMD won;t stop shipping dual core CPUs too because of this.

altough I currently have 3 boxes with AMD FX62 Dual core processors. they cannot take those away from me. hehe

(lnxpro said @ #1)
hmm. so what about AMD? they have dual core CPUs too :). I have been using AMD for over 10 years now.

I hope AMD won;t stop shipping dual core CPUs too because of this.

altough I currently have 3 boxes with AMD FX62 Dual core processors. they cannot take those away from me. hehe


Bear in mind that AMD's technology of dual core CPUs works in a quite different manner than Intel's, plus the UW guys didn't pitch AMD, they pitched Intel.

So AMD chips are no doubt safe, but this could do terrible things for Intel's market share.

Remember this might well also affect the Quad CPUs since Intel's are simply 2 Core Duo's on one die hence the Core 2 Quad is merely a variant of the Core 2 Duo tech.

The problem with patent is not related to "steal a good idea" but it's more a "the first to patent will earn everything", even you can patent a half-baked project and several years later a big company can start producing this. In this case, at 1998 the dual core was a implausible idea.

(Magallanes said @ #16)
The problem with patent is not related to "steal a good idea" but it's more a "the first to patent will earn everything", even you can patent a half-baked project and several years later a big company can start producing this. In this case, at 1998 the dual core was a implausible idea.

The difference is that the company in question was "pitched" the idea, which they rejected. Then, later, they took that very pitch and made a profit on it for themselves. It's not like this was a simultaneous development of the same idea; they were shown the idea, rejected it to the guy's face, then used it later and tried to pass it off as their own.

THAT is exactly what the patent laws are FOR. This one is legitimate, as opposed to the companies that buy flimsy patents that easily *are* simultaneously developed then sue people for infringing on it.

Hey we got to get some money for Madison some how.

Right now they are freezing all state hiring [good thing to do during a ression, NOT ]. News this morning said the state will be in debt over $400 million on the low esitmate and well over 3 billion by most others. Time to move.

k peeps. Lets get collective here. Gimme some company/persons/pets that we can sue. And we share the money... but maybe later I can sue you since you are getting money from my idea. Sounds fair to me.

Ahhh.....flow charts (block diagrams) and the actual circuits are the same.................

And a Computer Science department is sueing a company that is EE/MatE based...

Nice. I go to UW. Trust me, they wouldn't be suing because they desparately need money - this University swims in money from alumni and other such places, apart from the money it gets from the state and the ridiculous tuition (which I wouldn't call ridiculous but for the fact that it's increased 300% in the last 10 years). It's also a nationally reknowned research institution, so if the guy says he came up with it and patented it first, he probably did.

And a big lol at the first poster, calling this university a 'small company'...

-Spenser

No, it's about establishing reputation (credit for work), which can be translated into capital at a later date. I might be a bit bias in this case myself, however.

(ahhell said @ #11.1)
BS

It's always about MONEY.

Well of course, but if the people at this university are the ones who did the research that created the means to make the money, why shouldn't they get any of it.

It's not all about the money though. Like I said, this University isn't desparate for money. Unless you also attend here, I think I'll be the one we're listening to as I do have a vested interest in how well the school is doing financially and otherwise and do tend to keep tabs as best I can.

-Spenser

(ahhell said @ #11.1)
BS

It's always about MONEY.

Huh sounds like intel always about money , you sell amd chips and we'll charge you double no discounts for you. ha ha ha . Boy their getting it from both ends when you try to rip off patents and try to shut out the competition it'll come back to bite ya good for them.

This little patent isn't the key to Core's operation. It's a patent on a method of enhancing out of order execution, and not the cleverest one at that.

Also, Intel are not crazy or evil, perhaps they didn't respond to these guys because they don't think this patent is relevant, and it can't hold up in court. Also, considering the minor importance of this, not a feature, but an enhancement - at worst Intel would deserve a small royalty charge.

Big shock that Intel broke the law, or supposedly broke the law...whatever. Rock on higher ed! The sad thing is corporations are always walking over the little guy. Hopefully, Wisc. can get some real progress outta this and not just take a settlement to stop Intel's bleeding.

could also be the university wanting to screw the actual 'teacher' who designed it...they could say 'were keeping all the money because you designed it working for us...lol

Yeah, if I recall correctly, patents from university research aren't exclusively owned by the professor/researcher, but in part by the University as well... Universities shell out quite a bit of $$$ for patents for their professors, so I'm of the opinion that any financial gain is for the University.

anyone can draw some figures and symbols on paper....but does it actually work or is it just some 'teacher' with membership in the star trek fanboy club having a fantasy day in 1998....intels core 2 works and has a design.

but potentially as a result of the data put to Intel initially.


all you doubters would be LIVID if it were you. you'd be posting threads here, there and everywhere. And our advice would be to open negotiations and if they failed then to take legal action. Which is exactly what the university did.

ONCE AGAIN..... Lets wait a couple of years for the product to be EVERYWHERE and then SUE!

Why did it take that long for the university to wake-up?

Stupid, greed, in need of easy money.

(psybapunk said @ #6.2)
What? The article said that they've been in talks for over a year now.
Heresy!
Don't let reading the article interfere with pre-held opinions!

"We are disappointed with Intel's lack of response in resolving this matter, and while we were not anxious to use the courts to enforce our patent rights, we have no other recourse given our duty to protect the intellectual property of our inventors and the university."

Thats from the WARF article on the issue. If Intel is infringing then it's the University's responsibility to back up their own people and inventions. I was actually thinking about buying my first Intel processor, I've been with AMD for a decade now. I'm going to have to see how this pans out before I make a decision. I don't want to support a company that knowingly steals from a learning institution.

(psybapunk said @ #5)
"We are disappointed with Intel's lack of response in resolving this matter, and while we were not anxious to use the courts to enforce our patent rights, we have no other recourse given our duty to protect the intellectual property of our inventors and the university."

Thats from the WARF article on the issue. If Intel is infringing then it's the University's responsibility to back up their own people and inventions. I was actually thinking about buying my first Intel processor, I've been with AMD for a decade now. I'm going to have to see how this pans out before I make a decision. I don't want to support a company that knowingly steals from a learning institution.

but you have no problem supporting a company who's product is based on reverse engineering the competition?

AMD licensed x86 architecture from Intel though, and ack when the first AMD was made, the only way to even have a chance in selling CPU's was to reverse engineer x86.

The license deal was two way though so Intel effectively got everything AMD developed for free up to a a point. so intel took AMD's A64 architecture, renamed it and claimedit was their own. And tey even left out part of the instruction set, even if it was one that wasn't that usefull to regular home users.

Whether they want money or not, and no matter how large Intel are, if the patent is owned by the University, and Intel are using the technology, they have every right to sue.

Although I think that halting all shipments is a tad over the top.

No, they just want money. It's the same thing all the time. Some small company waits a few years for a product to become popular and profitable and then decides to sue for patent infringement. It's retarded.

Aren't they legally obligated to defend their supposed patent, whether or not the public and the universe thinks it is a lame attempt at money grubbing?

No, they just want money. It's the same thing all the time. Some small company waits a few years for a product to become popular and profitable and then decides to sue for patent infringement.

Um, that's not like this at all. If they tried to license this technology to Intel, and Intel refused but then turned around and used it anyway (aka stole) then the University has every right to sue them.

(Skyfrog said @ #1.4)

Um, that's not like this at all. If they tried to license this technology to Intel, and Intel refused but then turned around and used it anyway (aka stole) then the University has every right to sue them.


Well, if licensing doesn't work out, take action before a product becomes mainstream, not after it's already been out a couple years. There really needs to be a regulation in how long you can wait to take action for patent infringement.

(Xilo said @ #1.5)
Well, if licensing doesn't work out, take action before a product becomes mainstream, not after it's already been out a couple years. There really needs to be a regulation in how long you can wait to take action for patent infringement.
Once infringement is found, you don't normally just jump to sic the lawyers on their throats. You set up negotiations to determine the extent of infringement. You need to exchange data and positions on the matter.

Lawsuits should be a last resort. Say, after a couple of years of talking with no result. ;)

Imagine if everyone just jumped to lawyers the very instant they feel they have been infringed (granted, some probably do). It would multiply the number of lawsuits!

(markjensen said @ #1.6)
Once infringement is found, you don't normally just jump to sic the lawyers on their throats. You set up negotiations to determine the extent of infringement. You need to exchange data and positions on the matter.

Lawsuits should be a last resort. Say, after a couple of years of talking with no result. ;)

Imagine if everyone just jumped to lawyers the very instant they feel they have been infringed (granted, some probably do). It would multiply the number of lawsuits!


Well, if negotiations aren't going anywhere after a year or more, I highly doubt they will go well any time longer. In fact, the longer negotiations drag out the more likely the offending party is to ignore the infringement altogether. In the end, these kinds of lawsuits only hurt the consumer. Whether it be for a pulled product, halted development, redevelopment, the consumer loses access to a product and will most likely pay the cost down the line if the company decides to redevelop without infringement or decide to license.

In this technological corporate world that's rapidly changing every year, patents are no longer about protecting ideas. They are for making money.

These kinds of lawsuits hurt the consumer???

So, your vision of the way things work is "might makes right", and any large corporations should be able to disregard patents of the smaller individuals or organizations?

I guess that would reduce lawsuits, since the larger company would be free to always do as they please.

(markjensen said @ #1.8)
These kinds of lawsuits hurt the consumer???

So, your vision of the way things work is "might makes right", and any large corporations should be able to disregard patents of the smaller individuals or organizations?

I guess that would reduce lawsuits, since the larger company would be free to always do as they please. ;)


No, I'm not saying to let corporations do what they please. Just limit the freedom patent holders have to sue anyone that infringes it when most of them wait years for the company to be profitable to do so.

Take for instance the Dual Shock controller for PlayStation consoles. Whoever had the patent waited through the success of the PS1, and waited through the success of the PS2 before suing Sony. Because of that, all PS3 owners had to miss out on having a Dual Shock controller when purchasing the console. Now, anyone that wanted one had to wait over a year to get one (which was only just released in Japan recently) and spend extra money on a new controller. This was all because someone decided to wait for years to take action for a patent infringement.

So, like I said, most of these patent lawsuits only end up hurting the consumer in the end.

Thanks for the clarification.

So, if a company can hide the infringement for over a year, maybe two, then they can get away with it and do as they please.

(Skyfrog said @ #1.4)

Um, that's not like this at all. If they tried to license this technology to Intel, and Intel refused but then turned around and used it anyway (aka stole) then the University has every right to sue them.

'IF' thats what happened then they can sue... but my guess is it's mainly like skyfrog said... "Some small company waits a few years for a product to become popular and profitable and then decides to sue for patent infringement."

cause my guess is they would not have sued if it where not for them getting rich off of it.

(Xilo said @ #1.5)

Well, if licensing doesn't work out, take action before a product becomes mainstream, not after it's already been out a couple years. There really needs to be a regulation in how long you can wait to take action for patent infringement.

It takes months if not years to build a case that is substantial enough for a lawyer to even look at. It will come down to how well written the patent is and how badly Intel infringed it.