ITC opens investigation in Samsung, Nvidia patent battle

Nvidia‘s simmering legal battle against Samsung has heated up a bit with the news that the International Trade Commission has instituted an investigation based on a complaint made by the latter party in November.

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According to the notice filed on Tuesday, the federal agency will look into Samsung’s allegations against Nvidia (and some of its smaller supply chain partners) regarding the “importation of certain graphics processing chips, systems on a chip, and products,” which could result in a ban against these items of things go Samsung’s way.

Nvidia first filed claims against Samsung and Qualcomm in September, alleging the tech giants used Nvidia’s GPU patents covering programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing technologies. The processor maker filed formal complaints over seven patents with both the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Delaware.

In federal court, Nvidia demanded a jury trial in order to obtain damages for patent infringement.

With the ITC, Nvidia also asked for a ban in the United States on the shipment of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali or Imagination’s PowerVR graphics architectures.

A few devices that would fit the bill here include the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3, and Galaxy S4 smartphones as well as the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro, and Galaxy Tab tablets.

In November, Samsung retaliated with a counter suit of its own in federal court, tacking on patent infringement allegations over semiconductor buffering and data control. Samsung further argued Nvidia is guilty of false advertising by saying the Shield tablet is equipped with the world’s fastest processor.

Amid the ITC development this week, Nvidia’s chief administrative officer David Shannon acknowledged in a blog post that all of this reflects “typical legal ping pong.”

Shannon added later that Nvidia predicts “the first to be decided will be our suit against Samsung in the ITC.”

ZDNet reached out to Samsung for further comment.

For a closer look at the ITC’s Notice of Investigation, scroll through the document below:

Nvidia v. Samsung ITC Update

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ITC opens investigation in Samsung, Nvidia patent battle
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