Grab a bag of popcorn, kick up your feet and enjoy the show -- this one's just getting good. After Intel filed a lawsuit against NVIDIA late last month alleging that a four-year-old chipset license agreement the companies signed did not extend to Intel’s future generation CPUs with 'integrated' memory controllers (like Nehalem), NVIDIA has hit back. Hard.
Today, NVIDIA has bucked back by filing a countersuit in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware against Intel Corporation for breach of contract. Furthermore, the action also seeks to terminate Intel's license to NVIDIA's valuable patent portfolio, which no doubt is reverberating with some level of intensity in the halls of Intel. According to NVIDIA, the countersuit was "brought in response to a filing by Intel last month in the Delaware court," which is no doubt the little skirmish we referenced earlier.
Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA -- who has never shied away from speaking his mind with no filter in place -- had this to say: "NVIDIA did not initiate this legal dispute. But we must defend ourselves and the rights we negotiated for when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents. Intel's actions are intended to block us from making use of the very license rights that they agreed to provide."
There's no telling how all of this will shake out -- we'd like to think the two could just compromise, keep collaborating from afar and move on, but we get the feeling they wouldn't have brought the lawyers in if that was even a remote possibility. Hey, guys, can we just make sure this public bickering doesn't hinder innovation? Good.