Infoworld reports that Transmeta has sued Intel for violating 10 of its patents relating to processor design and power efficiency in Intel's Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, Core, and Core 2 processors. The companies had apparently been attempting to work out a licensing terms, but failed.
"Friendly win-win discussions between the two parties had broken down and we thought is was appropriate now to turn to the courts." --Transmeta's President and Chief Executive Officer Arthur Swift
Transmeta was founded in 1995 and once employed such luminaries as Linus Torvalds during their attempt at making low-power chips suitable for portable use. The company has since switched their corporate strategy to licensing their technology after having failed to break into the x86 CPU market.
The lawsuit against Intel asks for "damages, royalty payments, and an injunction barring Intel from selling infringing products." If an injunction were to be granted, Apple's supply of Core and Core 2 chips could be in jeopardy (Yonah, Merom, and Woodcrest are all based on these architectures, and are currently used in the Mac Mini, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro). However, as AppleInsider has stated, an injunction does not seem very likely at this time due to the ramifications on the PC industry.
Of relevance, AMD currently has an open anti-trust lawsuit (pdf) against Intel.