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Meet Opti, inc., Apple's latest legal problem.
A San Jose-based manufacturer of LCD-panel controllers and PCI, USB, and FireWire bridge chips, Opti Inc., has filed suit against Apple for alleged patent violations. Accordng to a report on the British website Reg Hardware, the suit claims "Apple makes and sells products that incorporate its technology, enshrined in three US patents: 5,710,906, 5,813,036 and 6,405,291, all entitled "Predictive Snooping of Cache Memory for Master-Initiated Accesses."
Translated into less-technical terms, Opti is asserting that Apple has used their technology to speed up data transfers between the PCI bus and the PCI controller.
Interestingly, Opti - which, by the way, has one of the most amateurish, low-rent websites we've seen in years - has recently also brought legal action against nVidia and AMD. We could find no record of them suing Intel, however, and Intel is the current supplier of the chipsets that Apple uses in the PCI configurations of its current Intel-based Macs, 'Books, and Xserves.
Whether the suit has merit is of course unknowable at this time. Possibly it does - and possibly there's a small company in San Jose that finds it more lucrative to sue cash-rich giants than to make its website a useable place for potential customers to learn about themselves and their products.