The NVIDIA, Samsung and Qualcomm saga has been cleared to continue

Subject: General Tech | April 7, 2015 - 01:27 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, qualcomm, Samsung, patents, sueball

A judge has ruled that six of the seven patent disputes that NVIDIA has filed are valid and will proceed to court for judgment.  These patents involve the use of graphics coprocessors in mobile devices and have been judged to be worded in such a way that it does not matter if those GPUs are ARM, Imagination Technologies or Qualcomm.  This is not the end of the dispute, merely a pretrial to see if the claims are valid and worth going to trial.  Of course Qualcomm and Samsung dispute NVIDIA's claims and in Samsung's case they have already launched a counter suit claiming NVIDIA has violated six of their own patents.  You can read about the history of the latest legal battle in the tech world as well as today's judgment over at The Register.

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"Nvidia has won an important early victory in its ongoing patent litigation against Qualcomm and Samsung, with a judge in the US International Trade Commission ruling in Nvidia's favor as to the language of the disputed patents."

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Source: The Register

April 7, 2015 | 02:13 PM - Posted by me (not verified)

I'm not sure "A judge has ruled that six of the seven patent disputes that NVIDIA has filed are valid" is entirely accurate.

From what I read, and I am not a lawyer, patents cannot be written to cover every situation they may protect against; the ruling is that the court agreed with Nvidia on 6/7 patents on the scope and what the jury should consider the patents covering. It is still up to the jury to decide whether all, part or none of the 7 patents are valid.

April 7, 2015 | 02:51 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

Would it be less confusing to say

"A judge has ruled that six of the seven patent disputes that NVIDIA has filed are valid enough to proceed to court for judgment."

April 7, 2015 | 03:42 PM - Posted by me (not verified)

I suppose my issue is that wording it that way makes it sound like only 6 of the 7 patents are going to be decided upon in the actual trial. All 7 are still going to be decided upon by the court. 6 of the patents will have an interpretation that Nvidia thinks is favorable to them.

BTW I only looked this up because I have a financial interest in NVDA. Searched for Markman hearing

April 7, 2015 | 03:58 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Would it be too much for the press to list the one patent dispute the judge refused litigation/definition on, as well as the six that were allowed. I'm very interested in the overly broad patent that Nvidia received for the Idea of a GPU on an individual silicon DIE, as that one appears to be the one with the most overreach, and simply putting more/different GPU functional blocks on a single DIE is not in itself a great innovation, as the entire CPU/SOC and GPU industry has been integrating more functionality on a single DIE, dew mainly to fab process node shrinks.

Anyhow, just looking at initial rules and definitions that were legally laid out in this initial procedural finding only appears to give more credence to Nvidia's definitions, and it will be up to the attorneys and expert witnesses to present their respective sides to the court and jury.

On thing is certain those 6 patents that Nvidia were awarded will be under some extreme scrutiny, and the prior art will be brought up, if any can be found by the defendants and their legal groups. Expect any company that may be on the hook for any extra payments to Nvidia, should the final judgment come out in Nvidia's favor, to offer any assistance to the defendants, even if they are not directly named in the lawsuit. The defense is open to calling any concerned party to the stand, and Nvidia may find that friends are hard to find with its continued licensing fee antics.

April 8, 2015 | 01:19 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

I don't really speak legalese well enough to translate the 75 pages in to English to tell you which ones are which.

April 7, 2015 | 03:34 PM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

And the winners are: The attorneys. Ka-Ching!

April 7, 2015 | 04:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Win or lose, The lawyers will get their fees, but that's how patent law works, the more disputes the more money the Lawyers make, Samsung has some very deep pockets being a huge mega-corporation. Funny thing is it will not stop Nvidia from doing business with Samsung if there is money to be made. Samsung foundries will take the business from anyone, just sign on the dotted line, and pay the price, lawsuits be damned.

P.S. IBM, Samsung and Globalfoundries have been in a technology sharing foundation/group for quite a few years now, and Samsung's 14nm process was developed with IBM's help, Globalfoundries got IBM's commercial fab business, but not any essential IBM IP, just some fab IP, and look Globalfoundries is licensing Samsung's 14nm process, probably at the behest of IBM! IBM is going to be using Globalfoundries for IBMs internal Power8/Power9 production, and probably Samsung for any of the OpenPower licensees, for sure after Google begins using Power8s in there server farms. Also as the Chinese licensed Power8 market takes off, both Samsung, and Globalfoundries will be needed for that market, expect both fabs to benefit from the licensed power8 market that is just now getting started. Nvidia makes big bucks selling GPU accelerators to IBM for power8 server/HPC use, just look at that big government supercomputer contract with the power9's and Nvidia Volta's, IBM will be steering lots of business to both fab partners.

They all sue each other, then continue to do business where there is money to be made, is just another business expense to be deducted for taxable income, or passed on to the consumer. Samsung's and Nvidia's management are probably playing a round of golf while all the lawyers are doing that thing that lawyers are so good at, making money for themselves. Same lawsuits different day, year in year out ad infinitum!

April 11, 2015 | 08:32 PM - Posted by Nick McKenna (not verified)

I see what happened here...

They said they would get 7 claims past...

But they only got 6.5 claims.

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