Microprocessor company Altera has filed many lawsuits the past few years, and one of them against rival Clear Logic was taken to the Ninth Circuit. Clear Logic has been ordered to pay $35 Million in damages, interest and legal fees to Altera for copyright violation in usage of Altera hardware. According to the article, it was won on a technicality in the definition of 'legitimate reverse engineering'. I don't know if Clear Logic was actually violating anything here or if they should be paying, but it seems typical in these times. A lot of heavyweights are going in circles over very similar issues, such as AMD and Intel. It's amazing that hardware cooperates as well as it does today with all the bitterness between big chip companies. What Clear Logic did was very akin to AMD mimicking x86 functionality, the question was whether or not it was a copy or actual innovation. With all that's been said and done it's a wonder about whether or not there is even a difference.
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