Monday, October 12th 2015

NVIDIA Loses Patent Infringement Claim Lawsuit to Samsung

The United States Federal Trade Commission (US-FTC) has found that Samsung Electronics did not infringe upon patents held by NVIDIA. In a ruling made by Judge Thomas Pender on Friday (09/10), it's held that Samsung did not infringe two out of three NVIDIA-claimed patents, it did infringe upon a third one, but that patent is invalid because it's not a new invention compared to previously known patents.

Samsung manufactures the Exynos brand ARM SoCs for its own smartphones, which embed a graphics core that NVIDIA claims is based on patent infringing technology. NVIDIA, which claims that it invented the first GPU and released it in 1999, accused Samsung and Qualcomm of using its patents on graphics chip technology without permission. The company claims that both Samsung Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon (which make up a majority of Android device chips), breach its IPR. Its claims don't seem to hold water with the US-FTC. "We remain confident in our case," commented NVIDIA spokesperson Robert Sherbin to Reuters. The ruling will be reviewed by the full bench of the commission in February 2016. Source: Reuters
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37 Comments on NVIDIA Loses Patent Infringement Claim Lawsuit to Samsung

#1
Divide Overflow
NVIDIA's acting a lot like Rambus. I'm glad this case was shot down.
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#2
AsRock
TPU addict
WOW, that was fast.
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#3
RejZoR
Divide Overflow said:
NVIDIA's acting a lot like Rambus. I'm glad this case was shot down.
Then again, if GPU's in question do contain their tech it is only right for them to get paid accordingly. Hate NVIDIA or not, you wouldn't want your tech be stolen by competitors like this.

RAMBus is so hated because unlike NVIDIA, they don't really invent anything new, they just troll others with patents. That's their one and only mission. That's why no one likes them.
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#4
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
1999? Eh wot? Graphics cards were around long before then. NVIDIA claims to have popularized the term "GPU" in 1999 but, really, suing over that? Isn't this the textbook definition of "frivolous lawsuit?"

I love it when patent trolls get squished.
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#5
ZoneDymo
"We remain confident in our case," commented NVIDIA spokesperson Robert Sherbin to Reuters"

hilarious
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#6
Chaitanya
Good to know, those stupid nVidia Tegra SOCs never worked so now they are acting like a whining b******. Serves them right.
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#7
TheMailMan78
Big Member
What about eyes? Are those not GPU's also? Could they sue the frontal cortex of my brain?
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#8
remixedcat
Mah this sucks tho.. And nv are not patent trolls since they have actual products.
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#9
alucasa
Coming soon near you, Ntears.
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#11
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
U.S. Patent No. 7,209,140 IMO, should have never been issued. Going all the way back to 1985 and the Commodore Amiga (programmable graphics processor), this patent was filed 14 years late. Throwing this suit at Samsung--a late entry into this market--is the very definition of "frivolous."

U.S. Patent No. 6,690,372 Shadow mapping goes all the way back to Lance Williams in 1978, 22 years before NVIDIA patented it. Should not have been granted; NVIDIA can not claim it as theirs. Frivolous.

U.S. Patent No. 7,038,685 This one, as the court ruled, has some legitimacy. It's basically about a multithreaded graphics processor but the court has to ask itself if that is the natural progression of technology or did Samsung steal NVIDIA's design. The former is clearly more plausible; NVIDIA has no claim against Samsung.

I can't see a court ruling any differently. Two of the patents should have never been filed; enforcing the third would require all GPU manufacturers to pay license dues to NVIDIA which NVIDIA doesn't really deserve in the first place.
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#13
Divide Overflow
RejZoR said:
Then again, if GPU's in question do contain their tech it is only right for them to get paid accordingly. Hate NVIDIA or not, you wouldn't want your tech be stolen by competitors like this.
I don't hate NVIDIA. They make some great products. I don't care much for some of their business practices, however, and their overzealous attempts at patent interpretation is one of them. In this instance, the courts ruled that Samsung was not stealing their tech.
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#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
A strong case could be made that NVIDIA stole from Lance Williams and Commodore.

ATI dates back to 1987 (Mach8 released 1990) where NVIDIA dates back to 1993 (NV1 released 1995).
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#15
truth teller
The ruling will be reviewed by the full bench of the commission in February 2016.
since the first ruling was completed so fast, im pretty sure the second one wont have a different result
patent trolling for dominance just makes companies look dumb, *cough* rambus *cough*
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#16
HumanSmoke
FordGT90Concept said:
A strong case could be made that NVIDIA stole from Lance Williams and Commodore.
I'd assume that if a lawsuit could be brought against a company, it has- or will be. But then, I'm not a patent lawyer so I'll leave that to those here that are.
FordGT90Concept said:
ATI dates back to 1987 (Mach8 released 1990) where NVIDIA dates back to 1993 (NV1 released 1995).
Probably doesn't mean a whole lot. AMD and Nvidia have cross-licenses in place already - and that covers a lot of IP - Tseng Labs, 3DLabs, Chromatic Research and the company that acquired them, ATI, for AMD, and 3Dfx (and GigaPixel), and SGI's graphics division for Nvidia....and a lot of that pre-dates ATI itself by at least 5-6 years.
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#17
Cybrnook2002
TheMailMan78 said:
What about eyes? Are those not GPU's also? Could they sue the frontal cortex of my brain?
No, but maybe we are neglecting them of the royalties/licensing fee's we likely owe them.
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#18
Xzibit
Cybrnook2002 said:
No, but maybe we are neglecting them of the royalties/licensing fee's we likely owe them.
Hmm, if you have eye problems extra latency I guess you pay royalties to Nvidia.

VR j/k
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#19
$ReaPeR$
imo the US patent system needs a reform. the way it operates hinders progress. allowing for vague patent claims and patent something more than a decade after do not look very rational.
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#20
thesmokingman
$ReaPeR$ said:
imo the US patent system needs a reform. the way it operates hinders progress. allowing for vague patent claims and patent something more than a decade after do not look very rational.
Ironically, Nvidia will get what's deserved since losing these suits will invalidate their patents, thus harm their IP license portfolio.
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#21
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
HumanSmoke said:
Probably doesn't mean a whole lot. AMD and Nvidia have cross-licenses in place already - and that covers a lot of IP - Tseng Labs, 3DLabs, Chromatic Research and the company that acquired them, ATI, for AMD, and 3Dfx (and GigaPixel), and SGI's graphics division for Nvidia....and a lot of that pre-dates ATI itself by at least 5-6 years.
I suspect that a lot of technology patents, if challenged in court today, would fall apart.

$ReaPeR$ said:
imo the US patent system needs a reform. the way it operates hinders progress. allowing for vague patent claims and patent something more than a decade after do not look very rational.
All patents also need sunset provisions. The whole idea of a patent is to recoup research costs. They should be required to state how much it cost to research (must be reasonable) and every year submit global earnings per patent (also must be reasonable). When the latter catches or exceeds the former, the patent is trashed. The court system shouldn't have to get involved unless there's a dispute (actual evidence of theft).
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#22
GorbazTheDragon
Never been a big nvidia hater, but I think this one calls for: LOLREKT :laugh:

$ReaPeR$ said:
imo the US patent system needs a reform. the way it operates hinders progress. allowing for vague patent claims and patent something more than a decade after do not look very rational.
Patent systems hinder progress in general. Of course it is somewhat a necessity in a capitalist society, but it still causes a lot of fuss when it comes to developing and advancing new products.
FordGT90Concept said:

All patents also need sunset provisions. The whole idea of a patent is to recoup research costs. They should be required to state how much it cost to research (must be reasonable) and every year submit global earnings per patent (also must be reasonable). When the latter catches or exceeds the former, the patent is trashed. The court system shouldn't have to get involved unless there's a dispute (actual evidence of theft).
Sounds like a decent idea.
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#23
rooivalk
FordGT90Concept said:
1999? Eh wot? Graphics cards were around long before then. NVIDIA claims to have popularized the term "GPU" in 1999 but, really, suing over that? Isn't this the textbook definition of "frivolous lawsuit?"

I love it when patent trolls get squished.
nVidia really did popularized that term though. I remember first GeForce 256 being marketed as GPU not 'Simply VGA'. IIRC their reasoning is because 'it has hardware T&L'. ATi back then responsed with calling their first Radeon as VPU (Visual Processing Unit). VPU term didn't survive.
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#24
natr0n
Just about all nvidia's new cards use samsung vram. That's some kind of irony.
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#25
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
rooivalk said:
nVidia really did popularized that term though. I remember first GeForce 256 being marketed as GPU not 'Simply VGA'. IIRC their reasoning is because 'it has hardware T&L'. ATi back then responsed with calling their first Radeon as VPU (Visual Processing Unit). VPU term didn't survive.
Indeed but that same concept was challenged in court between "application" and "app." Courts ruled Apple couldn't claim ownership of "app." "Graphics processing units" existed before NVIDIA patented "GPU" just as "applications" existed before Apple patented "app."

Transform and lighting was handled by the CPU via software prior to the GeForce 256 (Direct3D 6 and down). S3 Savage 2000 was independently developed and released the same year and it supports hardware T&L as well (just not via Direct3D 7). DirectX 7 shipped with Windows 2000. It was the natural progression of hardware graphics acceleration.
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