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Chip designer notifies firms of possible patent suits

Patriot Scientific, a semiconductor designer with about eight employees, sent letters to 150 companies alleging that they might be infringing one of Patriot's patents.

The San Diego-based company, which is already involved in lawsuits with Intel and five Japanese electronics giants, alleges that one of its patents has been incorporated into the design of microprocessors running at more than 120MHz. As a result, Patriot asserts that it's entitled to royalties from companies that have made such microprocessors, or incorporated them into PCs, routers, communication equipment or other machines.

Patriot didn't identify the companies it sent letters to, but said they were some of the largest electronics companies in the world. Intel has asserted that its chips do not infringe on Patriot's intellectual property. Theoretically, the suit could be worth billions. Patriot claims that its intellectual property has been incorporated into $150 billion worth of chips. Patent experts contacted by CNET News.com said they haven't had a chance to evaluate the patent.

News source: C|Net News.com

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