Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD


Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD


Article excerpt

Judge Extends Computer Copyright Protection LOS ANGELES - A federal judge has ruled that copyright protection extends to the computer instructions embedded in microchips.

U.S. District Judge William Gray also ruled in the same case that a Japanese manufacturer legally copied microchip designs from a U.S. company.

The precedent-setting split decision, filed Tuesday, could affect some of the most closely guarded secrets of U.S. high-technology companies, observers said.

``Everyone won and everyone lost,'' said Alice Leeper, an analyst at Dataquest Inc.

The ruling in the seven-year legal battle cleared NEC Ltd. of allegations it illegally copied Intel Corp.'s 8086 and 8088 line of computer chips. The chips are the key to IBM personal computer systems.

Gray said the Silicon Valley corporation's failure to ensure that a copyright mark was included on each chip made by several of its licensee companies meant it had forfeited its copyright on the chips.

But Gray also upheld Intel's contention that copyright protection extends to software called microcodes embedded in microprocessor chips. Although chip technology was already protected under copyright law, that did not extend to hidden software such as the microcodes.

Former Regina Officers Plead Guilty to Fraud NEWARK, N.J. - Two former top officers of Regina Co. pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding investors in the troubled vacuum cleaner company of more than $100 million.

Former Regina Chairman Donald D. Sheelen and former Chief Financial Officer Vincent P. Golden told U.S. District Judge Nicholas H. Politan they knowingly misled stockholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission by falsifying company records.

``This is a case representing massive misrepresentation by the company,'' said U.S. Attorney Samuel A. Alito Jr. at a news conference following the pleas. ``It represents losses well in excess of $100 million by the investing public.''

Alito said Sheelen instructed Golden to falsify sales by not subtracting returned appliances from the company's income.

In an agreement reached with Assistant U. …

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