updated 11:10 am EDT, Wed June 1, 2011
X2Y sues Apple, HP, and Intel in patent case
Relative unknown X2Y Attenuators on Tuesday sued Apple, HP, and Intel for allegedly copying its power technology. The Pennsylvania-based lawsuit claims that the three violate five patents for energy conditioning in processors, including the interposers that bring power from a chip's grid array to the chip circuits themselves. Multiple products violated the patents, but it singled out Apple's 27-inch iMac, HP's TouchSmart 610 all-in-one, and Intel's Core i7 processor as examples.
In each case, X2Y claimed that Intel supposedly aware of the patents and went ahead anyways, leaving X2Y "irreparably injured." It didn't mention knowledge on the part of Apple or HP and suggested the two had been brought into the lawsuit to put pressure on Intel and to reap a larger cash windfall.
As with most patent cases, the Nevada-based plaintiff was counting on the threat of a permanent product ban and triple damages to push the companies into settling out of court.
X2Y doesn't build power technology itself but is different than most usual non-practicing companies in having designed its technology with a specific aim in mind. It already has deals to license some of its power management processes to other companies, including Samsung. The firm is nonetheless heavily dependent on royalties to make a living and has a strong incentive to try and sue companies to make them pay where they wouldn't do business otherwise.