Thanks to Carl-Henrik Tjärnlund for the tip: It seems that Intel Corp. is in trouble again, this time with a small company called TechSearch that is suing the company for $500 million on behalf of a now-defunct hardware maker named International Meta Systems (IMS). The company charges that intellectual property contained in the Pentium Pro and Pentium II chips infringes on patents issued to IMS.
Back in 1996, IMS attempted to develop its own processor that would be competitive with Intel's offerings. Dubbed the Meta 6000, the chip incorporated technology on which the company received patents, including Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) code that could process Intel's non-RISC code. The company filed for the patent in 1994 and received it in 1996.
Like many Intel competitors, IMS and the Meta 6000 project were doomed from the start and the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Now, TechSearch, which represents IMS, is claiming that Intel used its proprietary technology in the Pentium Pro and Pentium II chips, though Intel denies the claims.
"Our position is that we believe that the suit is without merit and that we will fight it vigorously," said Intel spokesperson Chuck Mulloy