Monday, October 24, 2005

MicroUnity gets $300 million from Intel in settlement

The San Jose Mercury reports that Intel has agreed to pay MicroUnity $300 million to settle a 17 year old patent suit. Hmmm....

John Moussouris said of MicroUnity: ``People think we're a dormant company. We've been quietly working all this time. The lawsuit is one element.''

The same story (by John Takahashi) also contains:

Compiled by Peter Hirshberg, an executive vice president at Technorati, the blog search engine, one funny snippet was the first ``product placement.'' CBS News had a Univac computer on the set to help call the 1952 presidential election. But Hirshberg noted CBS didn't listen to its on-site pundit. Instead, the network called Adlai Stevenson the winner, who ended up losing to Dwight Eisenhower in a landslide.

I mentioned part of this story in Intellectual Property Today. I am not sure about the "on the set" part; however, CBS (specifically in coverage by Walter Cronkite) was relying on the pollsters (including Gallup) who were not using computers in 1952.

My point in IPT was related to the "transistor only for hearing aid" story advanced by Mark Lemley. In 1952, when neither Walter Cronkite nor the pollsters believed in the power of computers, AT&T/Bell Labs already had a contract to develop a computer, using (point contact) transistors, to fly on an airplane. If the Hirschberg story of "life in 1952" is amusing, the "transistor only for hearing aid" story in 2005 is even funnier.


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