Welcome

Intel, VLSI Patent Jury Trial Kicks Off in Waco After Delay Bid

Feb. 22, 2021, 11:13 PM

An in-person patent trial between Intel Corp. and VLSI Technology LLC has kicked off in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, despite a last minute objection from Intel.

The two sides delivered opening statements Monday, shortly after a panel of jurors were sworn in inside Judge Alan Albright’s courtroom in Waco. The jury is being asked to decide whether Intel microprocessors infringe VLSI’s U.S. Patent Nos. 7,523,373 and 7,725,759.

The trial is among the few in-person patent trials in recent months, with many courts pressing pause amid the coronavirus pandemic. It was delayed a week because of the winter storm that wreaked havoc across much of Texas.

Albright on Friday denied a bid from Intel to further continue the trial. Intel’s motion was sealed but VLSI in a public filing indicated Intel had argued the trial should be pushed back to April to allow time for additional vaccine distribution.

Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella LLP, an attorney for VLSI, told the jurors Intel has sold nearly a billion products that incorporate VLSI’s patented technology.

“Year after year new families, and new variations of each of those families, were being sold by Intel,” Chu said.

Intel has denied infringement. It will also argue that claims in one of the patents are invalid because they were anticipated. William Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, representing Intel, said the company’s engineers spent years independently developing the accused products.

“When Intel is being accused unfairly, when it believes it is being accused unfairly, it defends itself just like each one of you would do,” Lee said.

Pandemic Precautions

Albright has taken various precautions in light of the pandemic, including daily tests for trial participants and temperature checks at the door.

The trial is being closely watched, in part because it is just the second conducted by Albright, who oversees more patent cases than any other judge in the U.S. Chu also said large companies are waiting to see what happens with the lawsuit before taking a license from VLSI.

“They have a wait-and-see attitude and that’s where we are—a wait-and-see attitude to see what happens in this case and, in effect, to see what you do,” Chu told the jury.

Intel challenged both patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. The board last year declined to review either one, relying on a rule that authorizes PTAB judges to reject a challenge based on the advanced state of a parallel infringement case.

VLSI is represented by Irell & Manella LLP, Mann | Tindel | Thompson, and Haley & Olson PC. Intel is represented by WilmerHale and Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP.

The case is: VLSI Technology v. Intel Corp., W.D. Tex., No. 21-CV-00057, trial opened 2/22/21.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Bultman in New York at mbultman@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kibkabe Araya at karaya@bloomberglaw.com; Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in. To learn more about a subscription click here.