Monday, March 23, 2009

Intel keen on discussing license with GlobalFoundries!

Friends, I am very pleased to report that Intel has expressed a desire to sit down and negotiate with GlobalFoundries about a license! Now, it is up to AMD to take up Intel's offer and sort this out, once and for all!

This is possibly the best news coming out as far as the Intel-AMD cross-license affair is concerned. Isn't it?

I did promise that I'll bring you the responses from Intel and AMD. Intel's spokesperson very kindly replied to all of my queries!

Right, I had asked both that if AMD and Intel stick to their lines, Let's Make the Cross-license Deal Public... Will this help anyone?

According to Intel, it will help the public, the press and investors have a clearer understanding of the terms of the cross-license and in particular, why Intel believes AMD is in breach of that agreement.

I also asked them, rather bluntly, how their fracas was really helping the global semiconductor industry! To this point, Intel replied: "Our view is that AMD has a license agreement with Intel. Cross-licensing has long been a cornerstone of this industry. However, given the value of the IP assets at stake, we must continue to protect our IP and we do not believe that AMD can transfer those assets to a third party without the consent of Intel. We would be happy to sit down and negotiate with GlobalFoundries about a license. However, we cannot do so until AMD and GlobalFoundries acknowledge our rights under the agreement."

Protective order
Now, AMD wants Intel to lift a demand that the evidence submitted in its US antitrust suit against the chip maker be kept confidential. What is this all about? If it is a demand, why is it being raised?

According to Intel, this is a red herring! "That case has nothing to do with this contract. AMD knows very well that the information in the US antitrust case is confidential under a protective order signed by the Court. AMD was part of the process of drafting that protective order and knows very well that Intel cannot change it nor can AMD."

Why is it also being said that Intel's actions have violated the cross-license agreement? The Intel spokesperson said that AMD's theory is that Intel has breached the agreement by implementing the dispute resolution process outlined in the cross-license agreement. That is not what the agreement says. If AMD is right, then there is no dispute resolution process, which is not the case.

An Intel spokesman had earlier said that the company was willing to make the agreement made public, but said AMD prevented this from happening. I asked Intel to clear its side.

Bound by agreement
Here's Intel’s response: "In 2001 or 2002, AMD published a redacted (partial) agreement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Portions of the agreement are related directly to this dispute, and Intel has suggested multiple times that the entire agreement be published to provide the clarity outlined above. AMD has refused. Intel is bound by that agreement and can’t unilaterally make the rest of the agreement public."

Quite interesting responses from Intel! Now, I await AMD's replies.

At the end of the day, all differences should be kept aside, especially during this recession. I am sure, both of these wonderful companies can come to some sort of an agreement and find a way forward for the overall good of the global semiconductor industry.

I know this is not an easy matter, rather, it is quite complicated. However, I feel there's a way out of each and every problem!

Intel has now extended its request to GlobalFoundries, and AMD, to sit across the table and negotiate with GlobalFoundries about a license. It is sincerely hoped that the two companies can come to some sort of arrangement. There's no point in making claims and counter-claims through the media, or any other way!

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