Intel And AMD Fight Over Patent Rights

Oh, brother. Hot on the heels of some mildly good news from Advanced Micro Devices comes yet another downer. Just to give you a bit of background before we dive in, AMD just recently closed a deal that spun off its manufacturing into a newly formed company that was eventually coined GlobalFoundries, Inc. Being the logical thinkers that they are, the suits at AMD simply assumed that any licensing agreements it had with Intel would be automatically passed over and made valid with its new spin-off. And that's where it went wrong.

Intel has just taken the cat fighting up a notch (or two, one could argue) by openly stating that existing licensing agreements that cover Intel's x86 architecture do not spread over to the new chip company. Obviously, AMD feels that its spin-off should be considered an AMD subsidiary and have the exact same rights to the disputed Intel technology as AMD proper. It's said that Intel has disagreed on that concept for months now, and while it was initially willing to have discussions on the matter, it seems that Intel is now coming out swinging in an attempt to get one of two things to happen: garner additional funds that will extend the agreements to GlobalFoundries or get GlobalFoundries to stop tapping into the technology. Mind you, those are just our guesses, but that's usually what these kind of quibbles are about.

In a statement emailed out to the press, AMD said: "Intel's action is 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." In other words: "Bring it."