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By | Kelly Fiveash 19th August 2008 10:43

Intel slings sue ball at N-Data

Ethernet patent skirmish

Intel has filed a lawsuit against Negotiated Data Solutions, LLC (N-Data) in a royalties dispute about the industry standard for Ethernet computer networking.

Chipzilla wants a court to rule that N-Data's patents are invalid or were already paid under an agreement with National Semiconductor Corporation, which originally owned the patent. It hopes to protect Intel's customers – including Dell – against any royalty claims.

The chip maker filed the intellectual property suit with the Texas Eastern Court Marshall office last Friday. Intel has demanded a permanent injunction "barring N-Data from enforcing the Patents-in-Suit against Intel, Dell, or any other Intel customer".

Intel alleges that N-Data has deliberately impeded the firm’s prospective biz relationships and economic lead.

It also insists that N-Data’s ethernet patent claims were in fact settled way back in 1994 when the National Semiconductor Corporation made a commitment to the electronics industry standard setting organisation (IEEE) to license the technology.

According to Bloomberg, National agreed that if the IEEE adopted a standard based on National’s patented NWay tech, the group would in return offer an upfront, one-time paid royalty of $1,000 per licensee to vendors and sellers of IEEE standard products.

This is the latest legal spat involving N-Data. Earlier this year it settled a US Federal Trade Commission complaint that it was demanding high royalties from the computer industry for the Ethernet standard.

Intel and N-Data could not be immediately reached for comment. ®

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