NVIDIA suing Qualcomm and Samsung over GPU patents


NVIDIA is claiming that just about any System-on-Chip found in today’s smartphones and tablets is using their proprietary technology without permission.

The G-Force maker is saying that Qualcomm’s Adreno graphic processor, ARM’s Mali GPU, and Power VR’s graphics design are all infringing on NVIDIA’s (seven) patents. And now they’re doing something about it, having filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm and Samsung, with the (legal) action taking place at the U.S. International Trade Commission, and the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

“We are asking the ITC to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali or Imagination’s PowerVR graphics architectures,” NVIDIA’s David Shannon wrote in a blog post. We are also asking the Delaware court to award damages to us for the infringement of our patents.”

Initially, NVIDIA tried to settle with Samsung, but the Korean company refused to pay a single dime, saying that graphic chip design it uses is made by other companies and they should be the one paying any licensing fees to NVIDIA. And we guess that’s the reason why Qualcomm is also involved in this case – they are the world’s biggest mobile chip maker.

NVIDIA is not only looking for money but also a ban in the U.S. for many Samsung devices. Presuming they manage to get the positive ruling, we would see pretty much the entire industry paying their “dues” to NVIDIA.

Microsoft managed to accomplish something similar, with Android device makers paying them for use of Exchange patents, but we’re not these two legal cases are related. Waiting and seeing is pretty much all we can do at this stage.

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