In the latest sound of their legal battle, Intel has filed a counterclaim against Digital alleging that Digital infringed on 14 Intel patents.
Intel's counterclaim is in response to Digital's May 12 patent infringement lawsuit, which alleged that Intel's line of Pentium processors infringed on 10 of Digital's patents for its Alpha microprocessor technology. Intel filed the counterclaim in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, in Worcester, where Digital filed its lawsuit, and it has asked that it be folded into the Digital proceedings. The court could decide to consider the claim as a separate case, but that is not likely, an Intel spokesman said.
"This countersuit would not have been filed by Intel had DEC not sued us on the 12th of May," said Chuck Mulloy, a spokesman for Intel, which has denied Digital's allegations. "This is a very important part of the vigorous defense that we promised in response to the DEC litigation."
Intel also sued Digital on May 28 alleging intellectual property rights violation, saying that Digital would not return product-related documents.
The patents cited in the counterclaim cover technologies that are used across Digital's product lines, including patents for microprocessor architecture and design, semiconductor manufacturing, video encoding and decoding, thermal management for portable systems, system architecture and design, and system upgrade capabilities related to BIOS upgrades, Mulloy said.
In a brief response issued late this afternoon, Digital termed the action "a typical step for a company that has been sued for patent infringement." The statement said an appropriate response would be issued once a copy of Intel's filing has been received. And it repeated Digital's claim that Intel had unlawfully used Digital's patented technology, which the company said it is committed to having resolved in court.