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Competitor Sues ATI for Patent Infringement

Silicon Graphics (“SGI”) has sued ATI Technologies, alleging that the major graphics chipmaker has infringed a computer-graphics patent that it has licensed.

SGI launched this suit just days after it exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; it argues that ATI’s Radeon graphics chip uses technology in Patent No. 6,650,327, and is seeking unspecified damages. SGI filed its complaint on October 23, 2006 in U.S. District Court for the western district of Wisconsin; the complaint requested a trial by jury.

The patent, filed in 1998 and awarded in 2003, involves describing graphical elements with floating-point numerals to balance the range and precision of values that can be stored. Floating-point numbers include an exponential component that spans a wide range of numbers, but that range can come at the expense of the precision afforded by the main alternative, integer numerals.

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