Via Technologies Inc. and Trident Microsystems Inc. today announced the end of a legal battle over patents and a troubled partnership in chip-set designs for personal computers.
Under the settlement, pending lawsuits will be dismissed and Trident will receive $10.2 million from Via Technologies, Hsinchu, Taiwan, for a desktop software driver licensing fee. The agreement to bury the legal hatchet is contingent upon the dismissal of all pending lawsuits in the United States and Taiwan, said the two companies, which added that they are not in full control of all legal actions in the dispute.
Last summer, Trident sued Via in U.S. court, charging the Taiwan chip set maker with breach of contract, fraud, and patent infringement. Trident, Santa Clara, Calif., accused Via of illegally hiring 25 engineers and breaking a marketing pact for jointly designed products.
"We are pleased that these long-pending business disagreements and lawsuits are being resolved," said Gerry Liu, president of Trident's video graphics/communications business unit. "This contingent settlement news not only encourages Trident and Via but also reaffirms our commitment to the mutual customers."
Via president Wen-Chi Chen added that the settlement will enable the two chip companies to focus more resources on meeting the needs of mutual customers.