Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


6 Months Ended
Jul. 01, 2023
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Note 13 : Contingencies
Legal Proceedings
We are regularly party to various ongoing claims, litigation, and other proceedings, including those noted in this section. We have accrued a charge of $2.2 billion related to litigation involving VLSI, described below. Excluding the VLSI claims, management at present believes that the ultimate outcome of these proceedings, individually and in the aggregate, will not materially harm our financial position, results of operations, cash flows, or overall trends; however, legal proceedings and related government investigations are subject to inherent uncertainties, and unfavorable rulings, excessive verdicts, or other events could occur. Unfavorable resolutions could include substantial monetary damages, fines, or penalties. Certain of these outstanding matters include speculative, substantial, or indeterminate monetary awards. In addition, in matters for which injunctive relief or other conduct remedies are sought, unfavorable resolutions could include an injunction or other order prohibiting us from selling one or more products at all or in particular ways, precluding particular business practices, or requiring other remedies. An unfavorable outcome may result in a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, financial position, and overall trends. We might also conclude that settling one or more such matters is in the best interests of our stockholders, employees, and customers, and any such settlement could include substantial payments. Unless specifically described below, we have not concluded that settlement of any of the legal proceedings noted in this section is appropriate at this time.
European Commission Competition Matter
In 2009, the EC found that we had used unfair business practices to persuade customers to buy microprocessors in violation of Article 82 of the EC Treaty (later renumbered Article 102) and Article 54 of the European Economic Area Agreement. In general, the EC found that we violated Article 82 by offering alleged “conditional rebates and payments” that required customers to purchase all or most of their x86 microprocessors from us and by making alleged “payments to prevent sales of specific rival products.” The EC ordered us to end the alleged infringement referred to in its decision and imposed a €1.1 billion fine, which we paid in the third quarter of 2009.
We appealed the EC decision to the European Court of Justice in 2014, after the General Court (then called the Court of First Instance) rejected our appeal of the EC decision in its entirety. In September 2017, the Court of Justice sent the case back to the General Court to examine whether the rebates at issue were capable of restricting competition.
In January 2022, the General Court annulled the EC’s 2009 findings against us regarding rebates, as well as the fine imposed on Intel, which was returned to us in February 2022. In April 2022, the EC appealed the General Court’s decision to the Court of Justice. A hearing date on the appeal has not been scheduled. The General Court’s January 2022 decision did not annul the EC’s 2009 finding that we made payments to prevent sales of specific rival products, and in January 2023 the EC reopened its administrative procedure to determine a fine against us based on that alleged conduct. Given the procedural posture and the nature of this proceeding we are unable to make a reasonable estimate of the potential loss or range of losses, if any, that might arise from this matter.
In a related matter, in April 2022 we filed applications with the General Court seeking an order requiring the EC to pay us approximately €593 million in default interest, which applications have been stayed pending the EC’s appeal of the General Court’s January 2022 decision.
Litigation Related to Security Vulnerabilities
In June 2017, a Google research team notified Intel and other companies that it had identified security vulnerabilities, now commonly referred to as “Spectre” and “Meltdown,” that affect many types of microprocessors, including our products. As is standard when findings like these are presented, we worked together with other companies in the industry to verify the research and develop and validate software and firmware updates for impacted technologies. In January 2018, information on the security vulnerabilities was publicly reported, before software and firmware updates to address the vulnerabilities were made widely available.
Numerous lawsuits have been filed against us relating to Spectre, Meltdown, and other variants of the security vulnerabilities that have been identified since 2018. As of July 26, 2023, consumer class action lawsuits against us were pending in the US, Canada, and Argentina. The plaintiffs, who purport to represent various classes of purchasers of our products, generally claim to have been harmed by our actions and/or omissions in connection with the security vulnerabilities and assert a variety of common law and statutory claims seeking monetary damages and equitable relief. In the US, class action suits filed in various jurisdictions were consolidated for all pretrial proceedings in the US District Court for the District of Oregon, which entered final judgment in favor of Intel in July 2022 based on plaintiffs’ failure to plead a viable claim. Plaintiffs have appealed that decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Canada, an initial status conference has not yet been scheduled in one case pending in the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, and a stay of a second case pending in the Superior Court of Justice of Quebec is in effect. In Argentina, Intel Argentina was served with, and responded to, a class action complaint in June 2022. The Argentinian court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims for lack of standing in May 2023, and plaintiffs have appealed. Additional lawsuits and claims may be asserted seeking monetary damages or other related relief. We dispute the pending claims described above and intend to defend those lawsuits vigorously. Given the procedural posture and the nature of those cases, including that the pending proceedings are in the early stages, that alleged damages have not been specified, that uncertainty exists as to the likelihood of a class or classes being certified or the ultimate size of any class or classes if certified, and that there are significant factual and legal issues to be resolved, we are unable to make a reasonable estimate of the potential loss or range of losses, if any, that might arise from those matters.
Litigation Related to 7nm Product Delay Announcement
Multiple securities class action lawsuits were filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California against us and certain officers following our July 2020 announcement of 7nm product delays. The court consolidated the lawsuits and appointed lead plaintiffs in October 2020, and in January 2021 plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint. Plaintiffs purport to represent all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired our common stock from October 25, 2019 through October 23, 2020, and they generally allege that defendants violated the federal securities laws by making false or misleading statements about the timeline for 7nm products. In March 2023, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint, and in April 2023 entered judgment. Plaintiffs have appealed. Given the procedural posture and the nature of the case, including that it is in the early stages, that alleged damages have not been specified, that uncertainty exists as to the likelihood of a class being certified or the ultimate size of any class if certified, and that there are significant factual and legal issues to be resolved, we are unable to make a reasonable estimate of the potential loss or range of losses, if any, that might arise from the matter. In July 2021, we introduced a new process node naming structure, and the 7nm process is now called Intel 4.
Litigation Related to Patent and IP Claims
We have had IP infringement lawsuits filed against us, including but not limited to those discussed below. Most involve claims that certain of our products, services, and technologies infringe others' IP rights. Adverse results in these lawsuits may include awards of substantial fines and penalties, costly royalty or licensing agreements, or orders preventing us from offering certain features, functionalities, products, or services. As a result, we may have to change our business practices, and develop non-infringing products or technologies, which could result in a loss of revenue for us and otherwise harm our business. In addition, certain agreements with our customers require us to indemnify them against certain IP infringement claims, which can increase our costs as a result of defending such claims, and may require that we pay significant damages, accept product returns, or supply our customers with non-infringing products if there were an adverse ruling in any such claims. In addition, our customers and partners may discontinue the use of our products, services, and technologies, as a result of injunctions or otherwise, which could result in loss of revenue and adversely affect our business.