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Judge Judy

As they say with patent lawsuits, you throw everything you’ve got at all the defendants you can find and see what sticks. Today we’ve got defunct chip maker MicroUnity (stopped making chips more than a decade ago) leveling a patent lawsuit against twenty-two companies [pdf] involved in the mobile tech industry. MicroUnity is targeting Acer, Apple, AT&T, Cellco, Exedea, Google, HTC, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sprint, and Texas Instruments in the suit. The allegation is that all of these companies (and some of their subsidiaries) are involved in the production, sale, and/or marketing of MicroUnity patent-infringing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or Texas Instruments’ OMAP-3 and OMAP-4 processors.

In our case, the Palm Pre and Pre Plus use the TI OMAP 3430 processor and is sold and marketed by Sprint (as well as Verizon, Bell, O2, and Telcel, but they apparently don’t matter). We would say that there’s likely little to worry about as far as Palm and Sprint are concerned - Texas Instruments is the one infringing on patents here, Palm only bought the chips.

Even though MicroUnity stopped making chips more than ten years ago, they still have a hefty patent portfolio that they’ve leveraged in the past. In 2005 Intel settled a patent-infringement lawsuit brought by MicroUnity to the tune of $300 million. At the time, MicroUnity had a grand total of eight employees. We won’t call them patent trolls, but we will at least point out that MicroUnity also has pending lawsuits against a number of other tech companies, including Intel (again), AMD, Sony, and Dell.

[via: EETimes]

Thanks to Lemstil for the tip!