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Intel and AMD cross swords over cross licensing

16 March 2009 | By Mark Osborne | News > Fab Management

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According to AMD, Intel Corp. has told its rival that it believes it is in breach of a patent cross-licensing pact created in 2001 on MPU architectures and that it has 60 days to correct the breach before the agreement becomes null and void. It is assumed this breach relates to clauses outlining that AMD could not offload MPU production in entirety to a third party. AMD has recently spun off its front-end manufacturing operations into GLOBALFOUNDRIES.

AMD has claimed for some time that the spin-off, while retaining a noticeable share directly in the new entity, did not breach the conditions of the 2001 pact with Intel.

The fabless semiconductor company noted in an SEC filing that Intel’s threatened action is in contravention of clauses in the pact, which means that AMD can continue to use the license, yet Intel now cannot.

Intel has previously cautioned AMD over the manufacturing spin-off but had not made clear its possible intentions should the spin-off actually take place.

In an email to the press, AMD noted that the Intel action was ‘an attempt to distract the world from the global antitrust scrutiny it faces.  Should this matter proceed to litigation, we will prove not only that Intel is wrong, but also that Intel fabricated this claim to interfere with our commercial relationships and thus has violated the cross-license.'

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