Around half of Advanced Micro Devices' case against Intel has collapsed after a Delaware judge ruled in Intel's favour on a procedural motion. AMD is considering an appeal. The judge also postponed a trial until 2009.
AMD is involved in an antitrust case against Intel which argues that the world's largest chipmaker has behaved in a monopolistic way. Some of the claims related to its behaviour in Germany, the UK, Taiwan and Japan. Observers say those claims represent around half of AMD's case.
A judge has now ruled that those allegations cannot be heard by the district court of Delaware because they are outside its jurisdiction. AMD is said to be thinking of appealing the ruling. It is also conducting parallel cases outside of the US.
"As this US litigation is joined by global antitrust investigations, it is clear that Intel cannot escape the consequences of its illegal monopoly abuses," said AMD's vice president of legal affairs Tom McCoy.
There is a live European case and the European Commission raided Intel offices last year. Earlier this month the Commission took over an existing German case involving allegations that Intel forced a German retailer into stocking only Intel products.
Raids have also taken place in South Korea. Japan's Fair Trade Commission ruled in 2005 that Intel did abuse monopoly power.
AMD claims that Intel made customers sign exclusive deals with it and offered rebates on Intel chips if they did not buy AMD technology. It says that PC makers were threatened with retaliation if they supported AMD.
Intel used to have a huge market lead over AMD, but chips from AMD can now be found in Dell computers and Intel's market share has been hit. That competition from AMD was blamed for Intel's recent decision to cut 10% of its staff, 10,000 employees.