NVIDIA Files Complaints Against Samsung and Qualcomm for Infringing Its GPU Patents

Discussion in 'Graphics and Semiconductor Industry' started by A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y, Sep 4, 2014.

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  1. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/News/N...lcomm-for-Infringing-Its-GPU-Patents-bb4.aspx
     
  2. Silent_Buddha

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    Always nice to see that when you can't compete with technology, just sue the competition.

    Why aren't they also suing Imagination Technologies which provides the graphics technology for Samsungs mobile chips (which is why they are being sued) as well as other competitors? That would actually make some sense. But since they aren't, it becomes more obvious that it's not about the technology infringement as it is about trying to get your competitors out of the way via the courtroom when you can't beat them through your products.

    Likewise with not suing the various other mobile chip makers that use Imagination Technologies GPU cores.

    Regards,
    SB
     
  3. RecessionCone

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    Qualcomm in particular makes large amounts of revenue from IP licensing. I bet Nvidia pays Qualcomm for every Icera modem it ships. Seems fair for Qualcomm to return the favor.
     
  4. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    That is not the reason. The reason is clearly stated as:

    Incorrect conclusion(s):

     
    #4 A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  5. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    In this quote:

    I don't see "get your competitors out of the way" but "get fair value for use of our patents".
     
  6. ams

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    This is what NVIDIA said on their blog:

    "We are asking the ITC to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali or Imagination’s PowerVR graphics architectures. We are also asking the Delaware court to award damages to us for the infringement of our patents."

    "With Samsung, NVIDIA’s licensing team negotiated directly with Samsung on a patent portfolio license. We had several meetings where we demonstrated how our patents apply to all of their mobile devices and to all the graphics architectures they use."

    "We made no progress. Samsung repeatedly said that this was mostly their suppliers’ problem."

    "Without licensing NVIDIA’s patented GPU technology, Samsung and Qualcomm have chosen to deploy our IP without proper compensation to us. This is inconsistent with our strategy to earn an appropriate return on our investment."

    "We are now seeking the courts’ judgment to confirm the validity, infringement and value of our patents so that we can reach agreement with Samsung and its graphics suppliers."

    Anyway, this is pretty huge and unexpected news.
     
    #6 ams, Sep 5, 2014
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  7. trinibwoy

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    Ummm yeah this probably won't end well.
     
  8. kukreknecmi

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    So they decided to force everyone to pay, since noone is buying Kepler IPs? They target few devices yet they can extend their claim to every other device since they simply say "we invented programmable / unified shader / lightining / rasterization system, now pay for it". I didnt study all patents, yet some parts of them are based on "too much generalization" and results to interpret like "there is no way to build a GPU module that does this job without infringing the original one"(like many patents ).

    I dont know how the patent courts process the "too generalized yet approved" ones, but feels may be streched too much tho.
     
  9. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    For who?

    I see those seven patents as pretty solid.
     
  10. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    Have you read any of the seven patents?
    They are not "too generalized"

     
    #10 A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  11. wco81

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    Samsung is also a potential customer with their phones.

    Has NV decided they can't win Samsung's business anyways?
     
  12. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    I wish them luck convincing a judge that "unified shaders" is some sort of novel idea. Patent litigation is stupid in general. It's doubly stupid when the "inventions" aren't inventions at all.
     
  13. silent_guy

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    There was a time when somebody came up with a truly wonderful invention: the interval timer for windshield wipers. It was the greatest thing ever and totally, rightfully, patentable, even if today it sounds trivial. There were lawsuits about it, won by the patent holder.

    I don't know the history of unified shaders, and I don't like offensive patent litigation, but if you think that they were not, at some point, a significant, patentable invention, you're very, very wrong.
     
  14. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    An efficient, working implementation of unified shaders was a significant development. The "idea" of a unified shader is not. The first CPU that could do basic floating point arithmetic already covered that.

    Is nVidia alleging these companies infringed on their specific designs or just on the high level concept? Just because someone thinks flying cars would be cool it doesn't mean someone else shouldn't be allowed to design a flying car.
     
  15. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent
     
  16. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    Samsung only used the Tegra2 when they did not have an internal SOC to use. When they developed their own they had no need for any other SOC producer other than QualComm.

    I wonder if they will come to regret their decision not to license the patents (along with their finger pointing at QualComm).
     
    #16 A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y, Sep 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 5, 2014
  17. xpea

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    rectangles with round corners, side to unlock or MS getting licence from each android device anyone ?
     
  18. xpea

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    This is exactly the opposite. Nvidia is by far the biggest patent holder in graphics with more than 7000 patents. They spent 9 billions in R&D since their beginning. They are the biggest innovator in GPU.
    If their competitors don't want to licence their tech, they can't use it freely.
     
  19. silent_guy

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    There's another problem with your understanding of patents: even if a general concept already exists as prior art, you can still patent specific applications of that idea. Whether or not is a significant development doesn't matter. (I do think it was a major step forward, FWIW.)

    There is a funny story about that in 'Surely, you're joking Mr. Feynman', where, after the WW2, he was contacted for a job as VP or director at some large company that makes submarines: turns out that, with the development of the atomic bomb, he had been part of a brainstorm session about potential uses of atomic power, and US government had then filed patents on them. Nuclear submarines was one of them, and with his name on the patent, the company had contacted him.

    The fact that the concept of unified shaders in various forms on a CPU already exists, doesn't mean that running them on a GPU isn't an additional innovation that can't be patented.

    It is perfectly possible to patent designs that haven't been implemented yet. For something to be patentable, it must have been reduced to practice. You'd think that this makes flying cars unpatentable? Wrong. The very act of writing down certain implementation details as a patent counts as a "constructive reduction to practice" (as opposed to "actual reduction to practice".)
     
  20. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    The NV defense force is mighty strong in this thread. :roll:

    NO, just because they have a patent for something doesn't mean it's "their tech". A huge number of tech patents are obvious, bullshit or both (as anyone would discover by regularly reading web publications such as Ars Technica and others), and granted solely because of (well-known, and sometimes actually exploited) deficiencies in the US patent system.

    A unified shader is a perfect example of something which is inherently NOT PATENTABLE, because it's an obvious development for any person knowledgeable in the field of graphics, and besides is already covered by the existence of software rasterizers. Arguing that a 3D rasterizer implemented as specialized hardware makes unified shaders worthy of patent protection makes the idea no less obvious, whilst making it abstract, again disqualifying it as worthy of protection.
     
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