Oh how the mighty have fallen: fresh off its emergence from Chapter 11, once-proud hardware manufacturer SGI (a.k.a. Silicon Graphics) chose to celebrate the occasion not with a product announcement or by gifting its employees with bunch of iPods, but by dropping one of the ol' patent infringement lawsuits on recent AMD acquisition ATI. According to the suit, ATI has been violating a 2003 patent covering a "display system having floating point rasterization and floating point frame buffering," which in layman's terms describes a method for "software to operate directly on data in a frame buffer" -- apparently "an important resource in achieving [the] enhanced graphics processing demanded by today's computer systems." Now we're not knocking SGI for defending its intellectual property -- after all, other rival manufacturers have seemingly validated its claim by licensing the patent in question -- but is getting your litigation on really the best way to show the world that your company is back on the field and ready to innovate? The answer seems to be yes, at least according to CEO Dennis McKenna, who is promising that this legal maneuver is just the first of many designed to "aggressively protect and enforce [SGI's] IP." Fair enough, but please make sure that your engineers are doing their R&D thing while legal does its, um, legal thing, or else SGI may go down in history next to another sullied three-letter acronym: NTP.

[Via Slashdot]

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