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In the early 1980s Jay Miner, along with other Atari, Inc. staffers, set up another chip-set project under a new company in Santa Clara, called Hi-Toro (later renamed to Amiga Corporation), where they could have some creative freedom. Atari, Inc. went into contract with Amiga for licensed use of the chipset in a new high end game console and then later for use in a computer system. $500,000 was advanced to Amiga to continue development of the chipset. In a breach of contract Amiga negotiated with Commodore International two weeks prior to the contract deadline of June 30, 1984. In August 1984, Atari Corporation, under Jack Tramiel, sued Amiga for breach of contract. The case was settled in 1987 in a closed settlement. (See "Amiga Corporation".)
In 1994, Commodore filed for bankruptcy and its assets were purchased by Escom, a German PC manufacturer, who in turn went bankrupt in 1996. The Amiga brand was then sold to another PC manufacturer, Gateway 2000, which had announced grand plans for it. However, in 1999, Gateway sold Amiga to Amino Development for almost 5 million dollars. Gateway still retained ownership to all Amiga patents.
Dispute and settlement with Hyperion
Amiga, Inc. licensed the rights to make hardware using the AmigaOne brand to a computer vendor based in the UK, Eyetech Group. However, due to poor sales Eyetech suffered substantial losses and ceased trading.
In 2007 Amiga, Inc. announced specs for a new line of Amiga computers: low end and high models. At the same time Amiga, Inc. sued Hyperion Entertainment, a company developing AmigaOS 4 for AmigaOne boards for trademark infringement in the Washington Western District Court in Seattle, USA. The company claimed Hyperion was in breach of contract, citing trademark violation and copyright infringement concerning the development and marketing of AmigaOS 4.0.
On September 20, 2009 Amiga Inc and Hyperion Entertainment reached a settlement where Hyperion is granted an exclusive, perpetual, worldwide right to AmigaOS 3.1 in order to use, develop, modify, commercialize, distribute and market AmigaOS 4.x and subsequent versions of AmigaOS (including AmigaOS 5).
In 2010 Commodore USA announced they acquired the rights to the Amiga name and relaunch Amiga branded desktops running AROS and Linux , which however Hyperion Entertainment promptly disputed, on the basis of a 2009 settlement agreement between Hyperion and Amiga Inc. After legal threats from Hyperion due to conditions in the Amiga Inc. settlement that they are now subject to as an Amiga licensee, Commodore USA later dropped their AROS plans and announced on their relaunched website, that they will create a new OS called AMIGA Workbench 5.0 (name changed to Commodore OS since Workbench was owned by Cloanto), which was later revealed will be based on Linux.
Amiga Inc. is in dispute with Hyperion due to the release of Workbench 3.1.4 by Hyperion.
On February 1, 2019, Amiga Inc. transferred all Amiga-related rights to C-A Acquisition Corporation owned by Mike Battilana (director of Cloanto, company behind the Amiga Forever emulation package).
- http://www.atarimuseum.com/ahs_archives/archives/pdf/misc/atari-amiga-contract.pdf[permanent dead link]
- ATARI Corp. vs. Amiga Corporation, U.S. (Santa Clara, California Federal Court March 6th, 1984 contract between Atari Inc. and Amiga Corp. included in evidence filings).[permanent dead link]
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