Silicon Graphics sues ATI for patent infringement

— 10:20 AM on October 24, 2006

Mere days before the expected closure of the AMD-ATI merger, ATI has been hit with a patent infringement lawsuit by Silicon Graphics. SGI is itself mere days past its emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The ex-Silicon Valley star stated last month that it had undertaken a complete reorganization involving new management and fewer employees, and that it intended to increase its focus on cheap x86 servers in order to return to profitability by the middle of next year. In the meantime, the "new" SGI is taking a page from Creative's and Transmeta's books by alleging that products in ATI's Radeon graphics card line violate one of its patents.

The patent in question, known as U.S. patent 6,650,327, was filed all the way back in June 1998 and covers a "display system having floating point rasterization and floating point framebuffering." SGI is seeking unspecified damages and a court injunction against continued violation of the patent by ATI. SGI CEO Dennis McKenna added in a statement, "SGI intends to aggressively protect and enforce its IP. This is the first visible step in that process," suggesting that other companies may get slapped with similar lawsuits in the future.

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