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News Burst: Intel sued by small company

Intel, the world's largest semiconductor maker, said on Monday that it has been sued by a tiny Chicago-based company, alleging patent infringement of an obscure processor architecture.

Intel, based in Santa Clara, California, confirmed a report on trade publication EE Times' Internet site that Intel was sued in late June by a company called TechSearch. "The suit is without merit and we will vigorously defend ourselves," said an Intel spokesman.

EE Times reported that the suit could seek over $500m (£305m) in damages. Intel declined to comment on the amount.

TechSearch bought the patents in question from a company that is now in bankruptcy proceedings, called International Meta Systems, which was developing a Pentium Pro class processor aimed to fit in with Intel's standard architecture.