NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Two weeks after being sued for patent infringement, Intel Corp. has responded by filing suit against Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) for "misappropriating" trade secrets.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, alleged DEC violated intellectual property rights by refusing to return certain documents as required by previous contracts. Intel made its request for its documents over the past week.
The latest claims follows DEC's charges filed May 13 that Intel infringed on 10 of its patents in designing and selling its Pentium, Pentium Pro and Pentium II microprocessors.
"We have an obligation to our shareholders to take the steps to ensure that companies that sue us for patent infringement claims don't have access to our confidential materials," said Charles Mulloy, Intel spokeman. "They are suing us; yet, they have knowledge of some of our most confidential information."
Intel's suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., specifically alleging breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and unlawful business practices. The company is also seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions to try to prevent DEC from producing chips, personal computers and other products using its technology.
"As of yesterday DEC has refused to return Intel's intellectual property," Intel said in a statement.
Intel had previously said Digital's suit is without merit. That lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, also sought an injunction to try to prevent Intel from allegedly using DEC technology in its chip production.
Shares of Intel were off 1-1/16 at 168-5/8 in mid-morning trading on the Nasdaq. Digital was down 1 at 36-1/4 on the New York Stock Exchange.