A regional court in Germany has ruled that Intel infringed on a patent covering an integrated voltage regulator technology that belongs to R2 Semiconductor, which could see select Intel processors banned from being sold in Germany. It's not just Intel but also Dell and HP products that use the affected Intel processors in the patent dispute.
Intel has bitten back at R2 Semiconductor, accusing the Palo Alto, California-based company of using a low-quality patent and that it would appeal the decision. The regional court in Dü Dusseldorf, Germany ruled against Intel on Wednesday, issuing an injunction against sales of Intel Core series CPUs, including "Ice Lake," "Tiger Lake," "Alder Lake," and Xeon Scalable "Ice Lake Server," processors.
Intel 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" CPUs are still out in the wild, so these processors might disappear from the market if Intel isn't successful in its appeal. It doesn't mean that the 12th Gen Core "Alder Lake" CPUs will disappear from the market overnight, so there's no need to worry right now.
Intel's newer 13th Gen Core "Raptor Lake" and new 14th Gen Core "Raptor Lake Refresh" processors are unaffected, as too are the new Core Ultra "Meteor Lake" processors inside of laptops that were revealed at CES 2024 earlier this year.
Intel released a statement explaining: "R2 files serial lawsuits to extract large sums from innovators like Intel. R2 first filed suit against Intel in the U.S., but after Intel invalidated R2's low-quality U.S. patent R2 shifted its campaign against Intel to Europe. Intel believes companies like R2, which appears to be a shell company whose only business is litigation, should not be allowed to obtain injunctions on CPUs and other critical components at the expense of consumers, workers, national security, and the economy".
David Fisher, CEO of R2 said: "We are delighted that the highly respected German court has issued an injunction and unequivocally found that Intel has infringed R2's patents for integrated voltage regulators. We intend to enforce this injunction and protect our valuable intellectual property. The global patent system is here precisely for the purpose of protecting inventors like myself and R2 Semiconductor".
He continued: "R2 has been a semiconductor IP developer, similar to Arm and Rambus, for more than 15 years. Intel is intimately familiar with R2's business - in fact, the companies were in the final stages of an investment by Intel into R2 in 2015 when Intel unilaterally terminated the process. R2 had asked if a technical paper Intel had just published about their approach to their FIVR technology, which had begun shipping in their chips, was accurate. The next and final communication was from Intel's patent counsel. That was when it became clear to me that Intel was using R2's patented technology in their chips without attribution or compensation".
"That is how these lawsuits emerged, and Intel is the only entity R2 has ever accused of violating its patents. It is unsurprising but disappointing that Intel continues to peddle its false narratives rather than taking responsibility for its repeated and chronic infringement of our patents".