Transmeta sues Intel

Silicon Valley is known for “noble failures” – those companies that aim for the stars, run out of fuel, and end up as large smoking craters in the ground. Take Transmeta – please! A year and a half after they stopped making chips, Transmeta is suing Intel for violating its low-power patents.

One of the patents in the suit covers “adaptive power control,” which changes the speed of a microprocessor on the fly to adapt to usage and power needs. Transmeta applied for that patent in January 2000 and received it in August, said John O’Hara Horsley, general counsel for Transmeta. He said Intel’s SpeedStep technology, which throttles back a computer’s performance to conserve power, appears to violate the Transmeta patent. Under patent law, the filing date for a patent application determines who came up with an invention first.

Transmeta says that Intel’s Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core and Core 2 products infringe on Transmeta’s patents. The complaint asks for an injunction against Intel’s continuing sales of infringing products as well as monetary damages, royalties, treble damages and attorneys’ fees.

Right. Good luck to Transmeta on that one. I’m sure they have nothing to fear from Intel’s legal team.

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