Two months ago, September 4th to be exact, Nvidia pursued legal action against Samsung with the allegation that all Galaxy devices equipping Qualcomm Adreno, ARM Mali or Imagination PowerVR graphics were infringing upon Nvidia’s intellectual property. Nvidia revealed it had tried to negotiate an out-of-court settlement with Samsung to no avail, with Samsung claiming the problem was for its suppliers to deal with.
Fast forward two months and Samsung has retaliated with legal action of its own against Nvidia. In a swift public response Nvidia’s chief administrative officer and secretary, David Shannon, labelled Samsung’s move as "predictable and unfortunate." Samsung’s legal action accuses Nvidia of six patent violations and false advertising, while Nvidia’s business customer Velocity Micro has been hit with an additional two patent violations.
Samsung’s complaint of false advertising appears to be a particularly bitter pill for Nvidia to swallow. Samsung alleges Nvidia’s declaration that the Tegra K1 processor is “the world’s fastest mobile processor” is false and misleading. Samsung counter-claims that its Exynos 5433 processor is faster in several benchmarks.
Unsurprisingly, Nvidia has offered benchmark results to back its claim that the Tegra K1 is the world’s fastest mobile processor.
As far as Samsung’s claims of multiple patent violations go, Nvidia is still preparing its formal response. The six technical patents cover aspects of chipset and memory control, among other things. Samsung’s legal action seeks an unspecified amount of damages and for Nvidia to end its alleged infringements of Samsung patents.
“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,” claims David Shannon.
What are your thoughts on this latest lawsuit? Are 'patent wars' getting out of hand?