Samsung retaliates against Nvidia with chip patent lawsuit

The companies are now not only squabbling over GPU and chip patents, but which firm offers the fastest processors.

Credit: Brian Turner, CC2.0

After Nvidia accused Samsung of infringing upon GPU technology, the electronics giant has countered with a patent lawsuit of its own -- as well as launching a battle over the speed of the Tegra K1 and Exynos 5433 processors.

Samsung has filed a claim in a US federal court, seeking damages for the alleged infringement of technology-based patents, as reported by Reuters. The complaint, filed last week, claims that US chip maker Nvidia has infringed upon patents related to semiconductor buffering and data control.

The electronics giant also says that Nvidia is using false advertising by saying the Shield tablet is equipped with the world's fastest processor.

On Wednesday, Nvidia said it was not ready to respond formally to Samsung's lawsuit. However, the company took umbrage with the statement that Nvidia uses false advertising in relation to the Shield tablet. While Nvidia says the Shield tablet's Tegra K1 processor is "the world's fastest mobile processor," Samsung claims that its Exynos 5433 processor is faster -- and therefore Nvidia's claims are "false and misleading."

Both companies point to benchmark studies to support their speed claims.

In an emailed statement, Samsung said:

"We are pursuing necessary legal measures to defend our intellectual property rights and to ensure our continued growth in the IT industry."

Nvidia filed patent lawsuits against Samsung and Qualcomm in September . The US chip maker alleges the aforementioned companies used patented GPU technology without licensing. The allegedly infringed upon patents cover programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing technologies. Nvidia says, however, that it "fully expected" to be sued in turn and called the move a "predictable tactic."

However, Nvidia did not expect Samsung to file a lawsuit not only against them, but one of the firm's small companies, based in Virginia. The lawsuit focuses on eight patents -- all of which Nvidia has allegedly violated, whereas it is claimed Velocity violated six. The company said:

"It's unfortunate that Samsung sued Velocity. This isn't Velocity's fight. But Samsung is just trying to keep its lawsuit in Virginia, which has a faster time to trial than most jurisdictions in the United States. It can be a dangerous strategy for one of the largest companies on the planet to decide to sue one of the smallest companies in all of Virginia.

Samsung’s action does not change our analysis, or our determination. Our patent lawsuit in the ITC is moving forward and remains a far more serious problem for them."

Read on: In the enterprise