Intel asks U.S. appeals court to overturn $2.1 bln patent loss

Intel’s logo is pictured during preparations at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover, Germany, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

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  • Damages based on ‘irrelevant and prejudicial’ evidence -Intel
  • Argued no reasonable jury could have found patent infringement

(Reuters) – Intel Corp blasted a jury’s $2.1 billion patent verdict against it on Wednesday in its opening brief at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, calling VLSI Technology LLC’s damages claims “exorbitant” and the trial fatally flawed.

Intel told the appeals court that U.S. District Judge Alan Albright allowed VLSI to present evidence that prejudiced the jury against it and led to an excessive award. The chipmaker also said that no reasonable jury could find its microprocessors infringed the patents.

Intel declined to comment on the brief. Attorneys for VLSI did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

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VLSI is a patent-holding company owned by investment funds managed by SoftBank Group Corp subsidiary Fortress Investment Group LLC. Intel’s brief called VLSI “an entity formed by a hedge fund for the sole purpose of buying patents to assert against Intel.”

Intel said VLSI’s case relied on “unsupported infringement theories and outrageous damages claims.”

VLSI sued Intel for infringing patents originally owned by Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors. A Waco, Texas jury awarded VLSI $2.1 billion last year after finding Intel’s processing technology infringed two of its patents.

Intel defeated VLSI’s bid for over $3 billion more in a second Waco trial last year. A third trial is set to begin in Austin in November, and related cases are still in progress in Delaware and Northern California.

Intel told the Federal Circuit on Wednesday that Albright should not have allowed VLSI to show the jury six Intel agreements to pay between $200 million and $1.5 billion to settle other patent disputes. Intel said the agreements were “irrelevant” to the case.

“VLSI unfairly used the noncomparable agreements to portray Intel as a serial infringer who pays large amounts to license patents in litigation, which inflated the jury’s damages analysis and tainted the entire verdict,” Intel said.

The brief also said Intel’s processors do not meet one of the patents’ “minimum operating voltage,” and also do not function in the same way as the other patent.

The case is VLSI Technology LLC v. Intel Corp, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, No. 22-1906.

For Intel: William Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr

For VLSI: Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella, Jeffrey Lamken of MoloLamken

Read more:

Intel loses U.S. patent trial, ordered to pay $2.18 billion to VLSI Tech

Intel defeats VLSI Technology in $3.1 bln patent trial

U.S. panel to review patent from $2.1 bln Intel court loss

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Blake Brittain

Thomson Reuters

Blake Brittain reports on intellectual property law, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. Reach him at blake.brittain@thomsonreuters.com

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