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Intel threatening to end cross-licensing agreement with rival AMD: SEC filing

[JURIST] Computer chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) [corporate website] revealed Monday in a filing [text] with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] that rival chip designer Intel Corp. [corporate website] is threatening to cancel licenses granted to AMD in a joint venture between the two firms. Intel has alleged in correspondence with AMD that AMD is in breach [Intel press release] of a 2001 cross-licensing patent agreement, and if the breach is not corrected within 60 days, Intel will terminate AMD's licenses and rights under the agreement. AMD has responded to the allegations by denying the existence of any breach, and has alleged that the controversy has been manufactured by Intel [Forbes.com report] to draw attention from a number recent of antitrust lawsuits [JURIST news archive]. The dispute between the two chip makers focuses on whether Global Foundries [corporate website], a chip foundry organized in a joint venture [Forbes.com backgrounder] with the government of Abu Dhabi, is a subsidiary of AMD.

Intel and AMD have been embroiled in legal controversies recently, particularly over Intel's business practices, which AMD has alleged are anti-competitive and amount to monopolization of the computer chip market. In July, the European Commission announced it was filing new charges [JURIST report] against Intel for providing "substantial" rebates to one computer retailer on the condition that it only use Intel processors, and that it had both paid a computer manufacturer to delay selling AMD-based devices and offered the manufacturer similar exclusivity rebates. In June, the US Federal Trade Commission [official website] launched an investigation [JURIST report] into Intel's business practices. Earlier that month, the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) levied nearly $26 million in fines [JURIST report] against Intel after a KFTC probe [JURIST report] found that the company had engaged in anti-competitive practices. In January, the state of New York opened an antitrust probe [JURIST report] into Intel's actions, and AMD has also filed [JURIST report] a civil suit [complaint, PDF; Intel response] against the company.

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