SAN JOSE — U.S. District Court Judge William Gray ruled Tuesday that NEC Electronics Corp. did not infringe on Intel Corp.'s copyright in the latest development in a 4 1/2-year dispute over microprocessors.
Gray, a Los Angeles federal judge asked to decide the landmark legal fight, said that the microcode in Japan-based NEC's V20/30/40/50 microprocessors did not infringe the copyright Intel alleged it had in the microcode for its 8086/8088 chips.
In fact, Gray held that Intel had forfeited its copyrights for the 8066/88 by allowing the distribution of copies without copyright notice.
"This is a tremendous victory for NEC," said company spokesman Hank Josefczyk. "The real winners, though, are the customers. This decision means that they can take advantage of the superior benefits of these V Series microprocessors without any concern about the outcome of the trial."