Samsung and Nvidia are in a running legal battle in a graphics-related patent, and Samsung has gained an upper hand in the case today. An ITC (International Trade Commission) administrative law judge has ruled in favor of Samsung saying that Nvidia has infringed upon two out of three patents by Samsung. This dispute started more than a year ago when Nvidia sued Samsung and Qualcomm stating that they are using its graphics chip related patents without paying any royalties.
The findings by the judge against Nvidia are now subject to a review by the full agency, which can then block Nvidia’s products from entering a country’s shores. “We are disappointed,” said Hector Marinez, an Nvidia spokesman in a statement. This ruling comes eight days after the full ITC commission upheld a judge’s ruling declaring that Samsung and Qualcomm didn’t infringe on two of Nvidia’s patents.
Samsung countersued Nvidia claiming that the California-based graphics chip designer has used three patents in its Shield tablets without paying for them. Samsung claims these patents cover some of the basic circuit designs, allowing them to be made smaller, faster in graphics and video performance, and saving the costs of manufacturing them. Nvidia tried to make Samsung pay royalties for these patents before talks failed.
One of these two patents by Samsung dates back to the 1990s and is set to expire next year, making it irrelevant by the time the ruling by the full commission comes out. Nvidia, which is a force to reckon with in the desktop and laptop graphics market, failed to make an impact in the smartphone and tablet market, which might be why it is trying to use its chip-related patents to earn some royalty from Qualcomm and Samsung.