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Sep 9, 2014

NVIDIA Sues Samsung, Qualcomm over Patents Infringement, Seeks Galaxy Phone Shipments Block

Samsung is well known for being sued by a lot of companies. The South Korean handset maker is still making war with Apple over the design of its products, but there are other companies in the smartphone and tablet business that Samsung allegedly copied from.

Now it’s NVIDIA’s turn to file a patent lawsuit against both Samsung and Qualcomm. Unlike other lawsuits that focused on one or several devices, NVIDIA is trying to block shipments of all Samsung smartphones and tablets that are using Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali or Imagination’s PowerVR graphics architectures. Basically, NVIDIA seeks to block shipments of all Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets now available on the market, or soon to be released, due to the fact that the South Korean company does not seem to use MediaTek’s chipset inside its devices for whatever reason. The patent lawsuit filed by NVIDIA follows a round of negotiations with Samsung that did not reach any conclusion. Apparently, Samsung thinks it’s the suppliers’ responsibility to license these patents, which is why no progress was made during the discussions.

Even if Samsung and Qualcomm knew they were infringing NVIDIA patents, they decided to deploy their IP without licensing any of these patents. NVIDIA claims Samsung and Qualcomm infringed on seven of its patents. According to NVIDIA, the patent lawsuit was filed against Samsung and Qualcomm with both the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the U.S. District Court, in Delaware. As mentioned earlier, NVIDIA seeks “to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali or Imagination’s PowerVR graphics architectures,” but the company is also asking the Delaware court to award them damages for the infringement of their patents.

No amount has been specified yet, but we suspect that Samsung and Qualcomm could settle for a smaller amount of money if they are willing to reach an agreement with NVIDIA in the next couple of days. “Those patents include our foundational invention, the GPU, which puts onto a single chip all the functions necessary to process graphics and light up screens; our invention of programmable shading, which allows non-experts to program sophisticated graphics. “Our invention of unified shaders, which allow every processing unit in the GPU to be used for different purposes; and our invention of multithreaded parallel processing in GPUs, which enables processing to occur concurrently on separate threads while accessing the same memory and other resources,” said David Shannon, Executive VP, NVIDIA.

NVIDIA promises to keep us in the loop with what’s happening with the patent lawsuit and whether or not its complaints will be met with a favorable decision from the court. Until then, you can check out NVIDIA's full complaint.

Image credits to NVIDIA


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