R2 Semiconductor has won against Intel regarding patent infringement allegations in Germany, causing some Intel CPUs to be banned from sale in the country’s market.
According to the Financial Times, the sales ban not only affects Intel CPUs but also the HP and Dell computers that use them. California-based R2 Semiconductor is trying to prove in court in various jurisdictions that Intel is illegally using some of its patents related to voltage regulators integrated into the CPU.
In December 2023, a German court recognized the validity of R2 Semiconductor’s claims of copyright in one of the controversial technologies. In the US, the company lost a legal dispute with Intel, and the UK court has not yet made a decision.
The court ruling in Germany affects Intel processors from the Ice Lake, Tiger Lake, and Alder Lake families, as well as Ice Lake-SP generation Xeon server processors. Sources close to Intel explained that the scale of damages from this ruling is reduced because some of the processors listed have been discontinued, while the latest Raptor Lake and Raptor Lake Refresh CPUs are not affected by the decision.
In an official statement, Intel claimed that R2 Semiconductor is engaging in “a series of extortion attempts from companies that are true innovators”. In the US, Intel sought to invalidate the R2 Semiconductor patent through the courts, then turned its attention to European courts. In general, Intel considers its opponent in this dispute to be a banal “dummy” and a “patent troll” – the company does not conduct any real activity beyond litigation.
The German court asked Intel to provide statistics on processor sales affected by the dispute for the period from March 2020 in Germany because the level of material damage will be determined based on this information. It is not surprising that Intel objected to this court decision.