Intel was told to pay $2.18 billion by a federal jury in Texas after losing a patent-infringement trial over technology related to chip-making, one of the largest patent-damages award in US history.
Intel pledged to appeal. Intel infringed two patents owned by closely held VLSI Technology, the jury in Waco, Texas, found on Tuesday. The jury found $1.5 billion for infringement of one patent and $675 million for infringement of the second.
The jury rejected Intel’s denial of infringing either of the patents and its argument that one patent was invalid because it claimed to cover work done by Intel engineers.
The patents had been owned by Dutch chip maker NXP Semiconductors, which would get a cut of any damage award, Intel lawyer William Lee of WilmerHale told jurors in closing arguments on Monday.
VLSI, founded four years ago, has no products and its only potential revenue is this lawsuit, he said.VLSI “took two patents off the shelf that hadn’t been used for 10 years and said, ‘We’d like $2 billion’,” Mr Lee told the jury.
He had argued that VLSI was entitled to no more than $2.2 million.
“Intel strongly disagrees with today’s jury verdict,” the company said in a statement. “We intend to appeal and are confident that we will prevail.”
One of the patents was originally issued in 2012 to Freescale Semiconductor, and the other in 2010 to SigmaTel. Freescale bought SigmaTel and was in turn bought by NXP in 2015. The two patents in this case were transferred to VLSI in 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Law.
VLSI lawyer Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella said the patents covered inventions that increased the power and speed of processors, a key issue for competition.
The jury said there was no willful infringement.