Last week NVIDIA lost its patent litigation case against Samsung and Qualcomm. This patent battle has been going on for some time now, NVIDIA accused the firms of infringing on GPU patents and Samsung retaliated by launching its own patent complaint against NVIDIA.
The results from the first round of Samsung's countersuit came in yesterday: an ITC judge ruled that NVIDIA's Shield tablets are in violation of three patents owned by Samsung. The patents are related to how electronics chips are made, they cover aspects on how to make chips smaller and faster.
NVIDIA told Bloomberg they're disappointed with the outcome of the case, and that they look forward to seeking review by a full panel of ITC judges, which will decide the case several months from now.
According to Samsung, the patents enable chip makers to put "what used to fill an entire circuit board with dozens of discrete components all onto a single chip the size of your thumbnail." One of the three patents expires next year:
Nvidia argued that Samsung’s patents date back to the 1990s, covering older technology that’s no longer used in modern chip designs. Its lawyers argued that Samsung had “chosen three patents that have been sitting on the shelf for years collecting nothing but dust.”
One of the patents will expire next year, just a few months after any import ban would take effect.
Besides NVIDIA, the suit also targeted some of NVIDIA's customers, including Biostar, Jaton and EliteGroup Computer Systems (ECS). Samsung also has a civil case against NVIDIA in Virginia, with a trial scheduled in January 2016.