U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Nullifies Major Claims in MIPS® Patent on Unaligned Loads and Stores PTO Overturns All Claims in Patent Number 4,814,976 That MIPS Technologies Inc. Asserts Lexra Violates
SAN JOSE, CA (June 14, 2001) - Lexra, a leading developer of 32-bit RISC, DSP and NPU cores for the embedded market, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has rejected all claims in Patent number 4,814,976 (`976) that MIPS Technologies Inc. [NASDAQ: MIPS, MIPSB] asserted Lexra violated. In its petition for re-examination, Lexra cited a patent issued to IBM® Corp.- patent number 3,916,388, entitled "Shifting Apparatus for Automatic Data Alignment"- that predates the `976 patent by more than 10 years. With this ruling the PTO agreed with Lexra's contention.
"We are extremely pleased with the PTO's ruling," stated Charlie Cheng, president and CEO of Lexra. "It confirms what we have consistently contended that our technology does not violate any patents."
The MIPS `976 patent contains a total of fourteen claims. In its ruling the PTO rejected six of the fourteen including all four - claims 9, 10, 12 and 13 - that were asserted against Lexra.
The `976 patent encompasses a technique for loading and storing unaligned data. The patent describes a method for transferring a word between a CPU's general-purpose register file and its memory when the word moved is split between two memory locations. Implementing two instructions, IBM, a computer industry pioneer, devised the same method for its mainframe computers to achieve an optimal result and received a patent for the technique in 1975. The technique is particularly useful for commercial and banking computer applications involving manipulation of large numbers of alphanumeric characters.
In the PTO reexamination process, MIPS Technologies Inc. will have two months to respond before the PTO ruling is final. Lexra is confident that the PTO's current ruling will stand.
Lexra, Inc. is a leading microprocessor developer specializing in 32-bit RISC, DSP and NPU cores for the embedded market. In less than four years, the company has established itself as an innovator in embedded microprocessor technology and intellectual property (IP) licensing business model, with proven track record for customer success. During this short period, Lexra has delivered nine different processors to over 30 licensees in six different countries. Its customers are among the top three network communication companies as well as the top ten semiconductor companies. Lexra is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. Further company information can be found at http://www.lexra.com.
* MIPS and other MIPS common law marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of MIPS Technologies, Inc. IBM is a registered trademark of IBM Corp. Lexra, Inc. is not associated with MIPS Technologies, Inc. in any way.
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