ITC Agrees To Investigate Samsung’s Claims Of Patent Infringement By NVIDIA

Tis the season of giving, and the U.S. International Trade Commission has given NVIDIA a heads up that it will investigate claims by Samsung that it infringed on some of the South Korean company's patents covering graphics technology. Samsung's complaints of patent infringement are the result of a countersuit it filed against NVIDIA in November after NVIDIA sued Samsung, also for allegedly infringing patents, a few months prior.

In response to the ITC's decision, NVIDIA penned a blog post explaining its position and why it feels Samsung is playing dirty. On the surface, NVIDIA explained that the back and forth between these two companies amounts to "typical legal ping pong," though where Samsung earns extra scorn from NVIDIA is by taking its hardware partners to court.

You may recall that at the time 
Samsung sued NVIDIA in November, it also dragged Velocity Micro, a small boutique system builder based in Virginia, into the case. Why pick on one of NVIDIA's small customers that have little to nothing to do with the overall complaints?

Wooden Gavel
Image Source: Flickr (Brian Turner)

"Samsung’s cynical measure to blame our partners is unfair to these third parties and will create more negative fallout for the company. In the case of Velocity Micro, a small family business was named so that Samsung could attempt to get its case heard in the fast-moving local district court," NVIDIA suggests in a blog post.

As usual, it's the customers who lose when companies argue with each other in legal forums, and no amount of finger pointing or he-said-she-said can change that. Granted, NVIDIA makes a good point about Samsung's dubious strategy of suing Velocity Micro -- a decision that Velocity Micro likened to being "thrown under the proverbial bus for their own strategic reasons" -- but what set all this in motion is NVIDIA's decision to sue Samsung and Qualcomm over a broad set of ancient patents.

In any event, expect to see these two sides continue to attack each other in public until a settlement agreement is reached, or until there's a court decision followed by inevitable appeals. Isn't patent law fun?