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Intel Accused of Infringing Patents for Powering Computer Chips

Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, was accused of infringing patents owned by a Pennsylvania company over ways to improve how power is delivered to an electronic circuit.

X2Y Attenuators LLC, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, filed a complaint yesterday with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, and a civil suit in its hometown. The ITC complaint seeks to block imports of Intel’s microprocessors, including its high-end desktop Core i7 chip, as well as Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. computers that run on the processor.

“Apple and HP incorporate Intel’s infringing microprocessors into their computers,” X2Y said in the ITC complaint. “These microprocessors perform the core functionality of Apple and HP’s accused products.”

The inventions covered by the patents, five in all, are designed to overcome electromagnetic interference, which can damage electronics, according to the ITC complaint. X2Y said it has licensed its inventions for inclusion in satellite radios, military aircraft and noise-canceling headphones.

X2Y said it “has attempted to persuade Santa Clara, California-based Intel to license X2Y’s technology for use in Intel’s microprocessors.”

The microprocessors are made in Costa Rica, Malaysia, the Philippines, and China, according to the complaint.

“We’re evaluating the case,” said Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman. “We would expect that we’ll be conducting a vigorous defense.”

Cash Compensation

The civil suit, filed in federal court in Erie, seeks unspecified cash compensation for the unauthorized use of X2Y patents. The case is likely to be put on hold until the ITC review is completed.

The ITC is an independent agency that investigates unfair trade practices, including patent infringement, and has the power to block the import of products found to violate U.S. patent rights. If it agrees to investigate X2Y’s complaint, it will complete the process in about 15 to 18 months.

The ITC case is In the Matter of Certain Microprocessors, Components Thereof and Products Containing Same, complaint No. 2810, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington). The civil case is X2Y Attenuators LLC v. Intel Corp., 11cv117, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania (Erie).

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