Intel and Via reach license settlement

Intel and Via have reached a deal in their patent infringement suit

The legal dispute between Intel and Taiwan's Via Technologies about a 1998 chipset license agreement has been settled, both companies announced Thursday.

In exchange for a payment from Via and ongoing royalty fees, Intel has agreed to modify that license agreement in order to permit Via to produce under Intel patents certain P5 and P6 chipsets.

The settlement means that patent infringement suits filed in the High Court in the United Kingdom, the High Court of Singapore and the US International Trade Commission will all be dropped.

It does not, however, seriously affect the litigation suit before the US District Court in San Francisco concerning chipsets that do not support Intel processors. An Intel spokesman says that this dispute is progressing.

All remaining terms of the settlement, including financial details, were confidential, Via said.

While Intel had once held about 70 percent of the global market in chipsets, which allow microprocessors to communicate with the rest of the computer system, its grip loosened as competitors like Via offered lower-priced alternatives.

Via estimates that it now holds about 35 to 40 percent of the chipset market and Intel now claims around 45 percent. SG Cowen analyst Drew Peck has predicted a looming price war and further losses in chipset share for Intel.

Reuters contributed to this report

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