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September 28, 1998

MIPS SETTLES ITS LAWSUIT WITH LEXRA OVER CHIP CORES

By CBR Staff Writer

MIPS Technologies Inc has settled its differences with Waltham, Massachusetts-based Lexra Inc, which it sued back in April after Lexra began advertizing MIPS-compatible cores. Lexra – which isn’t a MIPS licensee – wanted to offer the embedded systems marketplace cores using the MIPS instruction set that were both faster to market and cheaper than parts from MIPS itself or its partners (CI No 3,388, 3,392). Now MIPS says it’s entered into a memorandum of understanding with Lexra, resolving the litigation. Although Lexra had announced its wares as MIPS compatible it had removed four Cobol compiler-dependent instructions not deemed necessary, and seen performance shoot up 30%. MIPS accused it of making false compatibility claims and of using the MIPS trademark in a misleading manner. The newly signed memorandum sees Lexra agreeing not to represent its products as MIPS compatible, and agreeing to accurately indicate that its LX-4080 core does not support certain instructions. It has also agreed to acknowledge MIPS trademarks, disclaim any affiliation between the two companies and not use product names comprised of the letter R followed by numeric digits. MIPS isn’t attempting to claim patent infringement over its instruction set. In May, it settled with another clonemaker, ArtX Inc, on undisclosed terms (CI No 3,420). MIPS filed two trademark lawsuits against Artx in April, but shortly afterwards entered into a memorandum of understanding with the company, thought to include an option to reopen the lawsuit if necessary. It says it will continue to protect its intellectual property rights.

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