Some Intel chips banned from sale in Germany

Recently, the German patent court ruled that Intel infringed upon patents held by the American company R2 Semiconductor, subsequently issuing an injunction that prohibits the sale of certain Intel processors within Germany. This ban may also impact devices from Dell and HP. Intel plans to appeal this decision and has requested the German Patent Court to declare the patents in question invalid.

Media reports indicate that the patent in question pertains to voltage regulation technology, with R2 Semiconductor claiming that Intel’s use of processors in the Alder Lake, Ice Lake, and Tiger Lake series infringes upon its patent. Given that the Ice Lake and Tiger Lake series have ceased production, their impact is minimal. However, some PCs still utilize processors based on the Alder Lake chips, potentially resulting in losses for Intel and its partners.

Intel disclosed last September that R2 Semiconductor had requested the court to halt sales and even recall sold products. Intel argued that R2 Semiconductor’s patent had expired in the United States and that filing a lawsuit in Europe constituted patent trolling. Nevertheless, the Düsseldorf District Court ultimately sided with R2 Semiconductor, ordering a sales ban on the implicated Intel processors and systems.

Intel contends that companies like R2 Semiconductor should not be allowed to secure injunctions against processors and other critical components at the expense of consumers, workers, national security, and the economy. Furthermore, R2 Semiconductor appears to be a shell company, whose sole business is profiting from litigation.

David Fisher, CEO of R2 Semiconductor, expressed satisfaction with the German court’s issuance of the injunction, affirming that Intel had infringed upon its integrated voltage regulator patent. Reportedly, Intel had planned to invest in R2 Semiconductor in 2015 but withdrew from negotiations at the final stage. R2 Semiconductor had inquired if Intel had recently published a technical paper on their method, and it was only after a final email from an Intel patent attorney that Fisher realized Intel had utilized its patent in their chips without attribution or compensation.