Intel appeals Intergraph ruling

Intel has appealed a preliminary injunction that requires it to provide confidential product and technology information to Intergraph, a company that builds workstations using Intel processors.

Intel argues that Intergraph has not proven it is a monopoly as defined by antitrust law, nor that it has harmed competition.

The appeal is not directly related to the antitrust suit lodged against Intel earlier this week by the US Federal Trade Commission. But because the chip maker's dealings with Intergraph form part of the government's case against Intel, some of the arguments Intel makes in its appeal echo statements it made in reaction to that federal suit.

Intergraph sued Intel in November, alleging Intel coerced it into handing over certain technology patents by cutting off advance Intel product information that Intergraph needs to build its workstations.

Because Intel is the dominant supplier of chips to the PC industry, depriving Intergraph of the ability to use its products represents a threat to competition, and is therefore a violation of antitrust law, Intergraph argued in its suit.

The US District Court determined in April that Intergraph is likely to win its case based on merits, and ordered Intel to provide Intergraph with the advance product information it needs for the duration of the case.

In its brief filed this week, Intel contested that decision, arguing in part that the court failed to show it holds a monopoly as defined by antitrust law.

The chipmaker said the court erroneously based its decision to provide injunctive relief on the harm Intel has done to Intergraph, rather than on any harm to competition in general.

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