Nvidia launches patent suit against Qualcomm, Samsung

UPDATED: Besides damages, Nvidia wants the ITC to ban select Samsung Galaxy devices running on Qualcomm chips.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

In a fresh patent suit for the tech world, Nvidia is launching a legal battle against Qualcomm and Samsung.

The processor maker filed formal complaints over seven patents with the International Trade Commission as well as at the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

Nvidia is arguing that both Qualcomm and Samsung have been infringing upon its GPU patents covering programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing technologies.

David Shannon, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and secretary at Nvidia, insisted in a statement on Thursday that Nvidia tried to negotiate with Samsung over a licensing agreement for the seven patents in question.

But to Nvidia's dismay, according to Shannon, the talks were of no avail.

We made no progress. Samsung repeatedly said that this was mostly their suppliers’ problem.

Without licensing NVIDIA’s patented GPU technology, Samsung and Qualcomm have chosen to deploy our IP without proper compensation to us. This is inconsistent with our strategy to earn an appropriate return on our investment.

In federal court, Nvidia is demanding a jury trial in order to obtain damages for patent infringement.

But with the ITC, Nvidia is taking things a step further by asking for a ban in the United States on the shipment of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali or Imagination’s PowerVR graphics architectures.

Some examples of devices that fit the bill include the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy S4 smartphones as well as the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro, and Galaxy Tab tablets.

ZDNet reached out to Qualcomm and Samsung. A Samsung spokesperson declined to comment.

UPDATE: A Qualcomm spokesperson told ZDNet, "We are aware of the complaints and are evaluating them."

To read through both of Nvidia's legal filings with the ITC and U.S. District Court, scroll through the documents below:

NVIDIA Delaware Complaint Final

NVIDIA ITC Complaint Final

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