NVIDIA had sought an injunction from the United States International Trade Commission, alleging that rival chipmakers — Samsung and Qualcomm were infringing on its graphics patents with silicon found inside. The ITC ruled that Samsung ad Qualcomm did not infringe on the patents.
Last week Friday, ITC judge Thomas B. Pender issued a ruling, deciding that neither Qualcomm or Samsung had infringed on anything that NVIDIA had patented. Justice Pender suggested that the patents used by NVIDIA for the case were invalid as further examination revealed that the technologies were already included in previous patents. NVIDIA on Friday stated that today’s initial determination in one more step in the ITC’s legal process.
“We remain confident in our case,” said NVIDIA spokesman Hector Marinez.
The case was filed by NVIDIA in late 2014, in a bid to tie up the rivals in an expensive sales ban over mobile graphics chips. Initially, it was thought that NVIDIA would win the case, after justice Pender ruled in favor of its construction of patent claims. Though this dampened NVIDIA’S hopes, US ITC is yet to give its final judgement, which will be partly based on judge’s ruling last week.
NVIDIA has been the market leader after it brought 2D graphic cards and brought first modern 3D graphics card in 1999. Samsung does not always use NVIDIA chips in its devices, the Note 4 for instance uses a Snapdragon 805 chip. The devices mentioned in the suit include Qualcomm’s Adreno graphics, ARM Holdings’ Mali technology and Imagination PowerVR graphics architecture, all of which are Nvidia’s main competitors in mobile graphics. The lawsuit mentioned patent violations for smartphones and tablet such as Galaxy Tab S, Tab 2 and Note Pro.
Samsung has been involved in range of lawsuits with Apple and Microsoft in the recent years, for failing to respect a patent licensing agreement for technology used in the products. Companies file a case at the ITC to secure an import ban and in district court to secure damages.[ Source ]