Opti sues Apple

A Silicon Valley company is suing Apple for using its patented technology in Macs.

Opti filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas Jan. 16 alleging that Apple violates three Opti patents on what it calls “Predictive Snooping of Cache Memory for Master-Initiated Accesses.”

Opti says Apple uses its patented predictive snooping technology without permission in its desktop, notebook, and server computers and has asked for a jury trial to settle the dispute.

Opti, of Mountain View, Calif., licenses its intellectual property to personal computer manufacturers and semiconductor device makers.

This isn’t the first time Opti has filed suit over U.S. Patent No. 5,710,906, U.S. Patent No. 5,813,036, and U.S. Patent No. 6,405,291. In November 2006, Opti filed a similar patent infringement suit against chip-maker Advanced Micro Devices. In that suit, Opti alleged that AMD was selling CPUS and core logic products using predictive snooping technology, which allows for more efficient data transfer between a PCI-bus controller and a PCI-bus master.

Also in 2006, Opti settled a similar patent infringement claim with graphics chipmaker Nvidia. According to documents filed with the SEC, Opti received an $11 million payment from Nvidia in addition to quarterly royalty payments of $750,000.

Macworld’s Philip Michaels contributed to this report.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 11:25 a.m. PT on Friday, January 19, 2007, to add more details about Opti's patents and pending litigation.

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