A small Canadian computer company has filed a patent infringement lawsuit seeking $500 million from computer-chip giant Intel Corp.
In the suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., Toronto-based All Computers Inc. alleges that Intel violated its patent rights by using the company's patented circuitry in Pentium processors without a license.
The circuitry controls the frequency of input of the processors, said Edward F. O'Connor, a Laguna Beach, Calif. attorney who represents All Computers. "Virtually every computer in the world utilizes this technology."
The plaintiff estimates that Intel has been infringing on their client's patent since 1998, and that Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel has earned billions from the sale of computers that contain the circuitry.
Intel spokesman Chuck Mulloy said the company plans "a vigorous defense."
"We've done some preliminary analysis of the patent suit, and we have concluded the suit is without merit," Mulloy said.
O'Connor said the technology was developed by Mers Kutt, who started All Computers in 1971. He said Kutt received a patent for the circuitry in 1996.
O'Connor said Kutt contacted Intel officials after he learned they were using his patent and offered to license it to the company, but he was ignored.