updated 12:54 pm EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
Seven year old suit awarded class status, but stayed awaiting HP defense
A class-action suit is in progress, alleging that Intel and HP colluded in producing processors and computers with known poor-performing first-generation Pentium 4 processors, and artificially inflating the pricing. In doing do, Intel is also alleged to have used benchmarking software it helped create, WebMark 2001 and SYSMark 2001, to artificially boost perceived performance by enthusiast websites and other evaluators.
The complaint targets Intel's marketing of the Pentium 4 processor, code-named "Willamette," and asserts violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Unfair Competition Law, and the False Advertising Law. The plaintiffs assert that Intel violated the law by failing to disclose material facts about the processors, inflating benchmarks, and colluding with HP to hide wrongdoing.
The original complaint uses Intel's own engineers' evaluation of the processor after launch, noting that "PR & analyst teams were convinced [performance review websites] and maybe even AMD would use our formula and show our processors getting beat on our own tool."
Users need take no action at this time to be included in the class. Purchasers of Pentium 4-powered computers between November 20, 2000 and June 30, 2002 may opt out of the class and attempt recompense on their own. No ruling against Intel or HP has yet been made, other than class certification. Users that remain in the class (which is the default condition) are legally bound by all of the orders the court may issue issue and judgments the court makes in this class action.