Intel successfully overturns $2.18 billion VLSI patent decision in US appeal

Intel wins appeal to overturn $2.18 billion VLSI patent ruling (Image credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
Intel wins appeal to overturn $2.18 billion VLSI patent ruling (Image credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)
Key Highlights
  • A U.S. appeals court reversed a $2.18 billion patent-infringement award against Intel by VLSI Technology, marking a major reversal in U.S. patent law
  • The court cited insufficient evidence for one patent, prompting a new trial to determine damages for another semiconductor technology patent infringement by Intel, owned by Fortress Investment Group
  • Intel welcomed the decision, emphasizing the minimal value of VLSI’s patent. The stock declined over 4%, following Intel’s successful defense against a $3 billion damages claim by VLSI in a separate 2021 trial

On Monday, a U.S. appeals court overturned a $2.18 billion patent-infringement award that VLSI Technology had won against Intel Corp, marking one of the largest verdict reversals in U.S. patent law history.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the 2021 jury verdict that found Intel guilty of infringing one VLSI patent. The case has been sent back to Texas for a new trial to determine the amount Intel owes for infringing a second VLSI patent.

VLSI, owned by Fortress Investment Group, had accused Intel of infringing several semiconductor technology patents in multiple U.S. courts. The $2.18 billion award was from a Waco, Texas trial where the jury concluded that Intel microprocessors violated VLSI’s patents acquired from NXP Semiconductors.

The appeals court ruled there was insufficient evidence for one of the patents, which accounted for $675 million of the initial verdict. While confirming Intel’s infringement of another VLSI patent, the court ordered a new trial to assess the appropriate damages, as there were issues with the damages analysis in the original trial.

Intel’s Response and Ongoing Legal Battles in Semiconductor Patent Dispute

Intel welcomed the ruling, asserting that VLSI’s patent is of minimal value. The company’s stock declined more than 4%, and other major chipmakers also experienced drops.

This decision follows Intel’s successful defense against VLSI’s attempt to secure over $3 billion in damages in another Waco trial in 2021. In a separate case in Austin, Texas, a jury awarded VLSI nearly $949 million from Intel in 2022. The two companies dismissed another potential multi-billion-dollar case in Delaware, with a trial in Northern California scheduled for 2024.

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