Intellectual property company Patriot Scientific - best known for its patent infringement claim against Intel - has abandoned the lawsuit it brought against Sony, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Matsushita and NEC.
Not that all of the five Japanese companies have been let off the hook. Sony is no longer considered an offender it seems, but the remaining four are now being sued by Patriot partner TPL instead.
The move follows a deal struck between Patriot and TPL in June to bring their patent portfolios into alignment. So out goes Patriot's action, filed in January 2004 with the US District Court in Oakland, California, and in comes a TPL lawsuit filed with the US District Court of Eastern Texas.
Essentially, Patriot believes TPL has a better chance than it does of prosecuting the case successfully
TPL accuses the four companies of infringing at least three of ten patents it jointly holds with Patriot. It also accuses them of contributory infringement and of inducing others to infringe its intellectual property.
The patents cover microprocessor design techniques used in a wide range of PC, server and consumer electronics devices manufactured by the four defendants. Specifically, TPL said, their products use the following techniques without permission: multiple-instruction fetch technology, separately clocking CPU and I/O, along with use of multiple cores and embedded memory.
Intel has yet to respond to the move. It sued Patriot in February 2004 in direct response to Patriot's action against its Japanese customers. Patriot countersued soon after, alleging Intel had also violated its patents. It went on to notify 150 other companies that it believes their products infringe its patent, though as yet it has not initiated legal proceedings against them.
In February 2005, AMD licensed Patriot's patent, and made an unspecified investment in the company ®