Judge Rejects NVIDIA's Patent Infringement Case Against Samsung And Qualcomm

An administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled on Friday that Samsung and Qualcomm did not run afoul of the law by importing certain devices into the U.S., according to NVIDIA, which has sued both companies for alleged patent infringement related to GPU technologies.

This is the latest development in a case NVIDIA filed against Samsung and Qualcomm last year. NVIDIA claims that certain mobile processors built by Qualcomm and incorporated into several of Samsung's handsets infringed on technologies that cover things like programmable shading, unified shaders, and multithreaded parallel processing.

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"Samsung and Qualcomm have chosen to use these in their products without a license from us. We are asking the courts to determine infringement of NVIDIA’s GPU patents by all graphics architectures used in Samsung’s mobile products and to establish their licensing value," NVIDIA stated at the time.

Instead, Judge Thomas Pender issued an initial determination that Samsung and Qualcomm didn't infringe on two of NVIDIA's patent claims, and that even though they did infringe on a third, that particular patent was valid.

NVIDIA said it would keep consumers informed about any new developments in the case, hence a blog post describing the setback. Despite losing this round, NVIDIA said it's just another step in what's sure to be a "long legal process."

"We now intend to ask the full commission (which is made up of six commissioners) to review this initial determination and to confirm the previous judgment of the U.S. Patent Office — that the third patent is valid. If they agree, the ITC would issue an order that would preclude Samsung from importing into the U.S. infringing Samsung mobile devices and smart TVs," NVIDIA said.

If Samsung and Qualcomm are eventually found guilty of NVIDIA's claims, they could face fines and a ban on certain Samsung products into the U.S.