updated 06:53 pm EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
Two-prong filings with FTC and courts seek injunction, damages
Graphic processor manufacturer Nvidia has filed suit against Qualcomm and Samsung, accusing both of patent abuse. In a conference call about the suit, Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said that "they're using our technology for free in their devices today and they're shipping an enormous number of devices." Nvidia is seeking a sales and importation embargo on Samsung devices using PowerVR architectures, as well as anything using a Qualcomm graphical chipset.
The company is attempting to have Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets using Qualcomm's Adreno, ARM's Mali or Imagination's PowerVR graphics architectures -- this is nearly the entire shipping line of devices. Damages are also requested by the firm.
Nvidia claims that negotiation for use of the patents has been going on for several years, before the suit was considered. The suit was filed today in US District Court for the District of Delaware for the legal issue and at the US International Trade Commission in Washington to try and get the sales embargo. Samsung reportedly blames its chip suppliers for the violations, a tactic it has used before.
Other companies, including Apple, use chipsets from Qualcomm, and Imagination Technologies. "Today we're focused on Samsung and Qualcomm, and we continue to have productive conversations with a lot of other companies out there," said the CEO.
Seven patents are being applied against Samsung by Nvidia. The company claims that the patents in question cover the GPU, programmable shading, unified shaders, and multithreaded parallel processing in GPU technologies and all have been abused by Samsung, in some cases, for years.
No trial has been scheduled. Preliminary hearings aren't likely until the beginning of 2015, with any trial held in 2016 at the earliest.