Investor Upset That Transmeta Isn't Solely Focused On Suing Companies For Patent Infringement

from the focus,-people,-focus! dept

Back in 2006, we noted that hyped-up Transmeta, the semiconductor startup that Linus Torvalds worked at for a while, had pretty much failed in the marketplace and was making a last ditch effort to sue companies for patent infringement. It was a pattern we had seen over and over again: a company that can't actually compete in the marketplace responds to its own misfortune by trying to drag down the company that did succeed, using patent infringement claims as the anchor. However, it appears that an investor in Transmeta is now upset that the company didn't take this "sue everyone who did a better job than us" strategy far enough. Specifically, Transmeta settled with Intel a few months after filing a patent infringement lawsuit, and the investor is upset that the company didn't fight it out for a higher return. So, now, he's hoping to buy out the rest of the firm, shut down the parts that are actually doing something and producing value, and instead just turn the whole company into a patent lawsuit machine. Just as Thomas Jefferson originally envisioned.
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Filed Under: patents
Companies: transmeta


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  1. identicon
    Michael Evans, 8 Feb 2008 @ 2:27am

    Agreed: Transmeta a -very- bad example

    There is probably a very short list of reasons Transmeta failed:

    1) Semiconductor manufacturing is a very cut-throat business with extremely high barriers (Cleanroom build, tool install and qualification just to name a few) to entry.

    2) Intellectual Property issues make it very difficult to find leading edge fabrication partners willing to run your wafers (and you raise entry barriers even higher thanks to the margins on doing so).

    3) Those same IP laws make it very difficult to buy access to existing developments at a fair (to all) price, and only the biggest player(s) can afford to have a team develop a replacement in the blind properly.

    4) Isn't there some issue about the x86 instruction set where right now only Intel, AMD, and VIA have licenses; I keep hearing AMD's license to it vanishing being one reason no one will buy them/allow them to go in to bankruptcy...

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