The litigation centers on a European patent related to voltage regulation technology. R2 Semiconductor alleges that Intel's processors infringe on this patent, leading to the issuance of an injunction against the sale of the implicated Intel processors and devices in Germany. Intel argues that the injunction is excessive and is seeking to overturn the ruling through an appeal. The impact of this sales ban is somewhat mitigated by the discontinuation of many models within the Ice Lake and Tiger Lake series. However, certain devices continue to use Intel's 12th Generation Core 'Alder Lake' processors, which are still available for purchase. It's important to note that Intel's current-generation processors, including the Core 'Raptor Lake' and 'Raptor Lake Refresh', as well as Core Ultra 'Meteor Lake' CPUs, are not affected by this injunction.
Intel has labeled R2 Semiconductor as a patent troll, asserting that the disputed patent has been invalidated in the United States. Intel has voiced concerns about the broader implications of such legal actions, highlighting potential negative effects on consumers, employees, national security, and the economy. Intel is committed to protecting its German customers by covering any legal expenses or damages resulting from this lawsuit.
This legal dispute in Germany is part of a broader series of legal challenges for Intel, which includes ongoing litigation with R2 Semiconductor in the U.K. and efforts to reach a settlement in a protracted legal battle with VLSI.