A US judge has ruled that AMD is not entitled to trial documents the company says might help it prove its European Commission anti-trust complaint against Intel.

In a case that reached the US Supreme Court earlier this year, AMD attempted to force Intel to turn over confidential documents that were part of the discovery process in an anti-trust trial between Intel and Intergraph.

Intel, naturally, resisted the request, saying AMD was not part of any formal litigation with Intel and parties that merely filed complaints with foreign tribunals are not entitled to the same discovery as plaintiffs.

AMD originally asked a Californian district court to rule on its request. That court denied AMD's request, but the Court of Appeals sided with AMD. Intel then appealed to the Supreme Court, which ruled in a 7-1 decision that, while district courts are entitled to provide discovery to parties like AMD in cases involving foreign tribunals, they are not required to do so. This returned the decision of whether or not to provide AMD with the discovery documents in the hands of the district court.

Judge James Ware then ruled that AMD's request was not valid because Intel is already a participant in the complaint and if the EC really wanted the documents in question, it could order Intel to produce them. The EC filed a brief with the Supreme Court in support of Intel's position during that debate, telling the court it did not want the documents that AMD sought.

Furthermore, AMD did not make any references to the EC case or even any reference to the continent of Europe itself when filing its request for access to the discovery documents, Judge Ware wrote. This means that AMD's request was far too broad to be considered part of the complaint against Intel with the EC, which charged Intel was engaged in anti-competitive behaviour in Europe, according to the judge.

AMD has not decided whether it plans to appeal Judge Ware's ruling, said Mike Simonoff, an AMD spokesman. The company has 30 days in which to make a decision.