A judge for the Federal Court of Appeals vacated and remanded a previous settlement that found Intel Corp. violated patents held by Intergraph Corp., in a suit that hinged upon the definition of two key words.
The decision is actually a mixed bag for both sides. On one hand, the appellate court vacated the decision based on the definition of a single term, “pipeline identifier”, and tossed out the lower courts decision with regards to two patents. The ruling means that the lower court must now hear the case again.
On the other hand, the appellate court said that it upheld all of the lower courts other infringement findings and “claim constructions”.
The ruling is the latest development in a long-standing dispute between the two companies that dates back to 1997. Wednesdays ruling applies to a group of so-called “parallel instruction computing” (PIC) patents that Intel allegedly infringed in the development of its IA-64 processor, the Itanium family. Intel and Intergraph settled a separate patent dispute regarding the “Clipper” patents in April 2002. In that settlement, Intel paid Intergraph $300 million for a license.
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