The Buzz: December 23, 2002

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-12-23

OEMs Face Suit Over Patents

Intergraph, which last spring settled a patent infringement case involving Intels Pentium chips, is following that up with a suit against the OEMs that used those chips in their systems. Intergraph alleges that Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway violated patents surrounding the Clipper technology it developed for its workstations. Absent from the list of major computer makers named in the suit is IBM.

As part of the settlement, Intel agreed to pay Intergraph $300 million. Intel is appealing a ruling in a separate case last July in which it was found that Intels Itanium chip infringed on an Intergraph patent.

Microsoft Hit With Legal Bills

The two states that are continuing the fight to impose stiffer penalties on Microsoft for its monopolistic abuses are asking the software company to pay their legal bills.

Massachusetts Attorney General Thomas Reilly last week said in a court filing that his state had incurred up to $2 million in attorneys fees and expenses in the five years it has litigated the antitrust case. Reilly asked for reimbursement of $460 per hour for his time and that of three associates. West Virginia is seeking almost $272,000 in legal fees and expenses.

Seven states and the District of Columbia are not appealing a federal courts antitrust remedies, and they will get about $25 million for legal fees.

MicronPC Sets Moniker Change

As predicted, MicronPC will change its name to MPC Computers in 2003, in the hope of clearing up the confusion with its former parent company, Micron Technology.

MicronPC, which is owned by Gores Technology Group, ranks among the top 10 global PC makers, reports Gartner and IDC. Unlike Micron Technology, MicronPC has reported four profitable quarters.

During the transition to MPC Computers over the first six months of 2003, both names will be used on products and in corporate communications.

Rocket Fuel