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Hewlett-Packard Co. announced Friday that it has become the latest in a string of computer giants to agree to pay software maker Intergraph Corp. to settle an infringement suit over key patents. A month before the dispute was set to go to trial in Marshall, Texas, HP said it inked a deal to pay Intergraph $141 million in cash. The agreement dismisses all pending litigation between the two companies and provides for cross-licensing of each other’s patent portfolios. The two companies had about 10 suits against each other. An HP suit against Intergraph in Germany was dismissed two weeks ago. Intergraph sued HP, Dell Computer Corp. and Gateway Inc. in 2002, claiming the companies infringed patents related to cache memory technology, which improves computers’ speed and efficiency. The patents involve products containing Pentium processors, said HP’s director of media relations, Monica Sarkar. The other defendants settled with Intergraph last year. Dell had filed a counterclaim against Intel, which manufactures the Pentium chips. Intel agreed to pay $225 million in the dispute, which covered Dell’s liability as well. Gateway settled for $10 million plus future royalty payments. “My client is exceedingly pleased with the results,” said William Manning, a partner at Minneapolis-based Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi who represented Intergraph. Manning declined to say what damages Intergraph was seeking in its lawsuit, but he agreed that the deal was in the upper range of patent settlements. Intergraph said in a release that it expects to pay $11 million in legal expenses. HP counsel Morgan Chu, a partner at Los Angeles-based Irell & Manella, referred questions about the case to Sarkar. “We’re just pleased we could come to a resolution and do a cross-license,” Sarkar said. Under the deal, HP has a license for all Intergraph patents for any use, while Intergraph has access to HP patents in specific fields in which it has products. Based in Huntsville, Ala., Intergraph provides software and services for plant design, ship construction and geospatial mapping, among other things. The company created an intellectual property division in 2002 to protect its intellectual capital. Intergraph said that, since then, its IP protection and enforcement efforts have generated about $860 million in pre-tax income.

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