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. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    Well given that Qualcomm doesn't share any details whatsoever about their GPU designs it's not actually possible to consider them anything at all.
     
  2. aaronspink

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    Not that hard. You can subpena the source code and depose the engineers who worked on it. Pretty much all the source code is contained in backed up, time stamped, secure, version control systems.

    Pretty much anyone involved in and skilled in IC logic design can look over two pieces of logic code and find out if they do the same thing.
     
  3. Dave Baumann

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    Well, they have shared some details of Adreno 420. As the document outlines this is a full DX11.2 capable GPU, and presumably DX12 target capabilities as well, given they were on stage with the PC vendors at MS's GDC announcement. Presumably, and given they are the only vendor currently supported for Windows Phone, they are a DX licensee and we know that things like "unified shaders" are the somewhat the foundation for modern DX.

    I note that Samsungs Windows Phones weren't cited; that may be a "meh" given the sales, but doubly so with the potential to rouse MS.
     
  4. tangey

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    But I imagine the crux of samsung argument (for their own socs) is that they bought their graphics as a package, and thus it would be IMG/Mali whose graphics credentials would come into play. And I imagine that the graphics IP supplier indemnify their customers from any legal claims. And a similar (and more clear cut) stance would apply for the Samsung/Qualcomm relationship. If I buy a 1000 engines from ford, and stick them in my car, and GM then come along and say the car is illegal because the engine has some of their IP in it, it is reasonably clear to me that ford are the one that ultimately will fight the case with GM, although it's me that the suit was filed against.
     
    #84 tangey, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
  5. trinibwoy

    trinibwoy Meh
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    Thanks. That document pretty much proves the point though. All they've said is Adreno 420 implements a DX11 pipeline. There's no information in there that speaks to a particular innovation.

    Btw, Dave do you have an opinion on whether "unified shaders" or "programmable shaders" are defensible patents?
     
  6. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    That will not work at all.

     
  7. Lazy8s

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    They can be sued, sure. They can also get the supporting evidence they need for their defense from anyone else, whether through cooperation or subpoena.
     
  8. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    I really don't see the financial benefit to IMG/Mali to become best buds with Samsung for if IMG/Mali becomes entangled in the patent lawsuit and Nvidia wins would not that also open up IMG/Mali directly to a large settlement and penalty.
     
  9. tangey

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    And if they don't get involved, and Nvidia wins, you don't expect Nvidia to start going after the other significant Mali/PowerVr licensees and also effectively put a stranglehold on them getting new business ?

    If would appear to me that if they are confident that their IP doesn't infringe they should assist in proving it. If they don't assist, it's a sign of weakness, not only to Nvidia, but to other licensees and future potential licensees, who know have to consider the possibility of paying a royalty fee to two parties for their GPU...at which point licensing some Kepler derivatives become more appealing.

    They may also have a contractual obligation to assist in full, as part of the licensing agreement.

    Mali is a relatively small part of ARM. PowerVR *IS* IMG. It doesn't exist as a viable company without PowerVr IMO.
     
    #89 tangey, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
  10. Lazy8s

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    Imagination would be interested in defending their partners. What they, and everyone else (especially nVidia) would want to avoid is escalating the issue into a much larger industry-wide graphics IP war where each party has to assert their major assets against one another. nVidia might find themselves having to pay for some of the intellectual property they're currently claiming... the tiling patent, now really...
     
  11. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    Intel paying Nvidia a license to cover all devices containing GPUs did not have Intel stop buying PowerVr. So I really don't see your argument holding water.

    If Nvidia wins, Samsung/Qualcomm pay a court ordered license to Nvidia and Samsung/Qualcomm continue to use whatever GPU maker they desire.

    Where have you seen that written?
    Link?

    And even if Mali/PowerVr has given indemnity to Samsung/Qualcomm (which I have not heard Mali/PowerVr state) it may not work as a defense for Samsung/Qualcomm.

    This link (pdf) has lots of information on Patent Claims and Indemnity.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...=KpImA1_PiZV-4ZbGLKcWDQ&bvm=bv.74649129,d.eXY
     
  12. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    This is an opinion only with lots of guesses on conclusions that probably won't happen.

    Listen to the CC for why Nvidia clearly believes that they have a strong case against Samsung/Qualcomm.

    Conference Call link: http://www.media-server.com/m/p/27pkem4x

    You don't file patent lawsuits willy nilly and Nvidia's patent attorneys (both internal & external) would have done their homework on patents held by Samsung/Qualcomm that may apply.
     
  13. Lazy8s

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    The case isn't about what IP Samsung or Qualcomm can claim. It's about the IP that nVidia can (or perhaps cannot) claim.

    Samsung and Qualcomm just need to show that the ideas are either not valid as patents when dissected under legal scrutiny or weren't the invention of nVidia (including the companies they acquired). Failing that, they can attempt to show how the IP in their products is materially different.
     
  14. Exophase

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  15. tangey

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    You're comparing the financial clout and patent wealth of Intel, with the likes of Allwinner / RockChip et all, never mind tiny startups like Ineda. How many billions has Intel lost thus far on it's mobile segment ? $1.5B quoted isn't big in the grand scheme of things, and AFAIK it wasn't as straightforward as Nvidia is portraying at this time.

    In the post that you just quoted, I was expressing an opinion. the clue was in the word may. It wasn't stated as a fact.

    I was stating that it is possible. I think it is unfathomable that either MALI/POWERVR is supplied "AS IS" with no assurances/indemnity at all.

    Unsurprising, as neither POWERVR nor MALI make public the exact details of any of their licences.
     
    #95 tangey, Sep 9, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2014
  16. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    It doesn't matter one bit if MALI/POWERVR granted indemnity.

    Nvidia is asking for Treble Damages for Willful Infringement because Samsung knew about the infringement for the last two years.

    So if as you state MALI/POWERVR granted indemnity and the suit is won by Nvidia and the Treble Damages results in MALI/POWERVR not being able to cover the damages then those damages go right back to Samsung.

    This link (pdf) has lots of information on Patent Claims and Indemnity.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...=KpImA1_PiZV-4ZbGLKcWDQ&bvm=bv.74649129,d.eXY
     
  17. lanek

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    I dont think Samsung could be really innovative on Graphics innovation, as they are not in this market and dont product GPU, not even in their smartphones lineup. Thats the problem, Samsung just buy GPU. If you have complaint to formula go see the guy who sell me this gpu's. And just for say,.. some brand you are citing, was doing GPU's ( including PowerVR ) way before Nvidia exist ... ( some in collaboration with ATI too ).

    Again if clearly the patent have been infringed ( even if we can contest the patents itself ), im all for see Nvidia got fees for it.
     
    #97 lanek, Sep 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2014
  18. aaronspink

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    Not necessarily. Here we get somewhat into obscurities of patent law. For instance, source code of a binary that violates a patent does not in an of itself violate a patent. A general example of this is the X264 project. The source code for X264 can be distributed world wide without any patent related issues. However, if you wanted to use the X264 source code in a binary and distribute that binary, you would then be in violation of all the related H.264 patents.

    Likewise, it could be argued that neither ARM nor IMG actually distribute any actual GPUs. Instead they distribute the source code for GPUs. As such, they are likely not liable for any device that contains their "compiled" source code that does infringe their patents.

    AKA, a better analogy, is that Ford sells you a design for an engine. You then build that engine and when you try to sell that engine or products containing that engine, you get sued.

    As far as the direct issues of QCOM/Samsung, the issue from Nvidia viewpoint is that apparently, Samsung said it was QCOM's issue and QCOM said it was samsung's issue...
     
  19. aaronspink

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    To per-emptively let Dave off the hook here...

    It would likely be both unwise and a violation of his employment contracts for him to give an answer to this question. If he thinks it is potentially valid and voices such an opinion, it can be used against him and his employer in any future legal issues wrt "unified shaders" or "programmable shaders". If he thinks it is potentially invalid and voices such an opinion, it can be used against him and his employer in any future legal issues.

    My opinion is that its a legal matter and will be handled by lawyers and courts. And that's probably the most firm opinion you will or should get by anyone in anyway related to the industry that doesn't come via PR and lawyers or as part of direct legal testimony.
     
  20. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Experience has taught me that commenting on some matters in these forums even prior to employment within the industry can lead you into interesting situations!
     
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