Nvidia Wins Samsung Memory Patent-Infringement Trial – Given the All Clear to Continue Using Memory Chips for its GPUs

Usman Pirzada
Posted Feb 7, 2016
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In what is turning into an episodic soap opera, this iteration of the Nvidia v. Samsung case has finally seen some wins for the green camp. Nvidia is one of the two largest manufacturers of graphic cards on the planet and entered into a legal battle with Samsung some time ago. While (as of yet) Nvidia lost the original case against Samsung, the company has won the patent-infringement case (regarding computer memory-chip technology) brought by Samsung in retaliation – which constituted of a total of 4 claims, 3 of which were tossed. (via Bloomberg)

Jury rules that Nvidia’s use of Samsung’s memory chips does not constitute infringement

The tale originally started when Nvidia had  filed two lawsuits against Samsung and Qualcom. The first one was filed at the International Trade Commission in September 2014, while as the second was filed in the federal court of Wilmington, Delaware. The first lawsuit was meant to stop the import of Samsung products while as the second suit was meant for damages. Back in the day Nvidia had won the race after 2D graphic cards and was able to bring the first modern (3D) graphics processing chip with close-to-modern capabilities to the market in 1999. Nvidia claimed that this victory meant that it had effectively invented the GPU. The rest, as they say is history.

Almost a month ago, Samsung fired back with its own lawsuits and it looked like the scales would tip in its favor with Nvidia stating the following:

“A judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission this week issued his initial determination that we had infringed three of Samsung’s patents. He was ruling on Samsung’s retaliatory lawsuit against our own suit against them in the ITC.  Since we don’t import any significant amount of products directly, they had filed the suit to enjoin the imports of several small companies that use our products. We are disappointed by this initial decision. We will seek a review by the full ITC, which will take several months to issue its ruling. We will continue to keep you informed of significant developments.”

Now after the original ruling, the case that had started with 4 patent infringement claims form Samsung was reduced to just one claim. Samsung had dropped one patent before trial and out of the remaining three, two were deemed as mistrials and therefore negated. For the remaining patent infringement claim, Nvidia scored a win last Friday when the court declared that it had not infringed upon any patents of Samsung. An Nvidia spokesperson had the following to say:

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case, which reflects the jury’s careful attention to the facts and the law that applied,” said Hector Marinez, an Nvidia spokesman.

The case is Samsung Electronics Co. v. Nvidia Corp., 14cv757, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Richmond).

 

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