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June 19, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Judge Lucius Bunton has taken the decision that every US company using the Motorola Inc 68030 microprocessor feared: he has affirmed his earlier ruling that ordered Motorola to stop selling the part on grounds that it infringes a Hitachi Ltd patent. The federal judge, sitting in Austin, Texas, issued the order at the end of March (CI No 1,397), but a day later suspended it pending the hearing held late Monday. The judge made his decision Monday and signed it yesterday. Motorola said that it would at once file an emergency appeal with the US Court of Appeals to stay the injunction. The fact that a settlement has not already been reached implies that Hitachi is making the most of the fact that it has Motorola at its mercy under the injunction and is seeking to extract a high price from Motorola – perhaps even rights to second source the 68030 and 68040 (it was official Japanese second source for the 68000 and 68010). Motorola is also seeking to have the US Patent Office invalidate Hitachi’s 1973 patent, which Motorola claims is for a dual port memory technique on which Bunker Ramo Inc won a patent as long ago as 1966. Apple Computer Inc has warned that it would be out of business within weeks if the supply of 68030s dried up. Any ban applies only to the US market, so US companies with plants abroad could continue to use the part, but could likely not import them into the US.

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