Taipei, Taiwan, 22 December 2002 - VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced that the English Court of Appeal ruled today on a key aspect of the legal dispute between Intel Corporation ("Intel") and VIA Technologies, Inc. ("VIA").
The dispute arose when Intel issued proceedings in 2001 alleging that VIA chipset and processor products infringed five Intel patents. VIA alleged as one part of its defence to those proceedings that Intel was and is acting anti-competitively in the chipset and processor markets, and so was not entitled to enforce its patents against VIA. In April of this year, Intel applied to the English High Court for summary dismissal of VIA's competition law based defence on a summary basis and was successful. VIA subsequently appealed that decision to the Court of Appeal, which has today rendered its verdict.
The Court of Appeal has upheld VIA's appeal in its entirety, overturning almost all of Mr Justice Lawrence Collins' decision at first instance. The Court of Appeal commented that the proceedings raised "momentous" issues, and noted: "If what VIA alleges is made out then the dominance of Intel in the world-wide market in the important and developing technology for PCs is buttressed by its enormous portfolio of patents and restrictive licensing policy. This may be true of others but in the case of this technology the commercial and technical requirement for compatibility of hardware and software confers on the industry leader an even more impregnable position."
The Court of Appeal therefore concluded that the allegations of anticompetitive conduct against Intel should proceed to trial. Under the terms of the order agreed following the judgment, Intel will pay the entirety of VIA's legal costs for both the High Court and Court of Appeal hearings.
"We are pleased with the verdict," commented Richard Brown, Director of Marketing of VIA Technologies, Inc, "and we will be asking for an order for the trial of the competition law issues to be heard as soon as possible."
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