NVIDIA Responds to Samsung Suit

by David Shannon

We filed patent lawsuits two months ago against Samsung and Qualcomm alleging that they’ve used our patented GPU technology without proper compensation to us.

When we filed those suits in the International Trade Commission and Delaware District Court, we fully expected that we would be sued  in response. It’s a predictable tactic.

So, we weren’t surprised when, earlier this week, Samsung filed a lawsuit against us – adding in for good measure Velocity Micro, a small customer of ours based in Virginia.

Their action, filed in Virginia, focuses on eight patents. NVIDIA is alleged to have violated six. Velocity is alleged to have violated all eight.

Included in the filing is a false advertising claim against NVIDIA. It alleges that our statement that the SHIELD tablet, with its Tegra K1 processor, has “the world’s fastest mobile processor” is false and misleading. Samsung alleges that its Exynos 5433 processor is faster on a couple benchmarks.

We aren’t yet ready to respond formally to Samsung’s lawsuit. But we can’t hold back on their false contention that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 outperforms the SHIELD tablet.

Here are some benchmarks that show the extent to which the SHIELD tablet outperforms Samsung’s device. We ran both products in a standard “out of box” configuration with publicly available software.


It’s unfortunate that Samsung sued Velocity. This isn’t Velocity’s fight. But Samsung is just trying to keep its lawsuit in Virginia, which has a faster time to trial than most jurisdictions in the United States.

It can be a dangerous strategy for one of the largest companies on the planet to decide  to sue one of the smallest companies in all of Virginia.

Samsung’s action does not change our analysis, or our determination. Our patent lawsuit in the ITC is moving forward and remains a far more serious problem for them.

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  • anonymous

    Its really sad to hear that Giants target small Companies and file a law Suit. You people should Encourage Small Companies rather than suppressing them.

  • 12345

    You mean like this where sasmung and qualcomm are crushing nvidia(patent troll) in mobile market and they sue them because they can’t compete.

  • youretard

    This lol. Nvidia isn’t gonna win their patent lawsuit.

  • Sauron

    Considering samsung feels outclassed by nvidia, I do think nvidia will just straight up win there lawsuit, falsely throwing accusations without proof from one side in a trial will majorly show as an act of desperation from samsung while nvidia was really fast to show there facts into the trial as a response to samsung.

  • Simon

    Nvidia bullying competitors … My respect for them just went down.
    Being copied is a good thing, it means you are ahead & your competitors have no clue what to do. It means they can’t beat you.
    Nvidia is just another bully trying to make a few easy bucks. Following Apple, and all other American big bullies.

    I hope Nvidia lose all their suits. Until then, I’ll try to buy Samsung & Qualcomm

  • 12345

    They think if they win, more people will buy their tablets. LOL

  • Jizzus

    Now you want to measure the size of the companys for the reason to file lawsuits?

    Weren’t you, NVIDIA, advocating that if someone is infringing your IP then you should be compensated? What makes Velocity Micro so different in this scenario? If they are infringing Samsung IP then they should be compensated.

    Oh… is it because they are YOUR customers? But on the other hand you are suing Samsung for being a customer that licensed several GPUs from several companys (ARM, Qualcomm, Imagination Tech) as well… but Samsung is a BIG CUSTOMER, not a small customer right? Is that the difference?

    So in conclusion: It’s only fortunate to sue big customers. It’s unfortunate to sue small customers.

    What a fight.

    Weird times for tech… sad times.

  • 12345

    You should not have posted this comment. They’ll delete it becuase you said the truth.

  • SeahawksFan

    This is why there are patent laws. It is not OK for a company to copy patented technology, and not pay patent fees. Samsung is not above the law, and they should compensate Nvidia, or any other company for using their patented technology.

  • anon

    Most of the people commenting here really do not understand how business have to work in the realm of business law. If nVidia doesn’t go after Samsung and Qualcomm for trying to copy their GPU tech, but then go and try to sue another company for it. The new suit is then thrown out of court because nVidia didn’t uphold their patent at the very first offense. It’s not that they are trying to bully Samsung, they are doing right and just actions to protect their IP. Samsung and Qualcomm would do the same thing to nVidia if the table were turned.

  • http://Techgage.com/ Matthew Harris

    A patent troll is a person or a company that obtains patents on ideas with no intention of putting them into use and then sits on those patents so they can sue anyone that comes close to fulfilling those ideas. nV gets patents on their products, the technologies used in their products and defends their IP when it gets infringed upon. That is NOT trolling.

  • Android Developer

    How is it that companies copy GPU patents? Isn’t it extremely hard to reverse-engineer how the GPU’s technologies works?
    Also, how can it even be detected that some company copied?
    I don’t get how it works.

  • hhoohaa

    Heh, Nvidia is an US company and Samsung is a Korean company. I am American so I support Nvidia and hope it will win this fight 🙂

  • seattle tech

    Admit it nvidia the 20nm exynos 5433 7 is faster than the older tech k1. You can’t even put the k1 in any phones because of power and heat size issues. You are comparing a phone with a tablet. You are taking advantage of the broken patent system to steal money

  • seattle tech

    GPUs have been around for a long time before nvidia. Its like trying to sue everyone for have a CPU. They are suing because their failure of getting tegra SoCs into phones. The US patent system is archaic when it comes to technology

  • seattle tech

    Look up 3dfx bankruptcy and Nvidia. Basic patent troll

  • waka waka

    What about the Apple GXA6850 chip? Seems faster than the Tegra to me.

  • Losers Anon

    If Samsung had an issue they would have sued NVIDIA first instead of retaliating against a valid suit against them. The very fact they did not sue NVIDIA way back when they claim the first infringement took place shows they are scrabbling for some sort of a comeback or defence. Sadly, Samsung, you lose. Instead of wasting millions of dollars trying to defend the truth against you, you should be looking at resolving the issue with NVIDIA.

  • Android Developer

    I think you wanted to reply to someone else. I didn’t ask anything about the laws. I asked about technical things. I find it very hard to copy such things, and maybe even more: to prove someone has copied. If you don’t know how a mechanism works, it would be very hard to copy it without having any issues, and, if you got similar ideas as someone else, how could he prove that you’ve copied ?

  • crossmission

    I think with my tiny brain that all you Samsung advocators were put up by Samsung themselves to create friction or are just that simple minded, personally I don’t care either for Nvidia OR Samsung, I just came to see the graph that Nvidia compares the two devices and stumbled upon these rather simplistic, to put it elegant, comments, whenever I want to buy something that they created or is powered by their work I will simply do, as for why Nvidia sued Samsung and Samsung sued Nvidia and Velocity then you should know it’s a multi-billion dollar pie and everyone wants their piece or at least to pay as less as possible for it, so stop being juvenile idiots and face the facts, it’s all about the “Benjamins” or how they can avoid giving them to the other, all of these companies have shareholders and they need to answer for every decision they take, they can’t just go to their dads and ask them to call the other party’s dad to stop teasing them at school, this is the real world of corporate responsibility and shareholder interest not kindergarten…

  • David Escalante

    Are people in United States of America that stupid that they are willing to defend Samsung decisions?

    You are not any better (smarter and knowledgeable) than third world country’s if that is the situation.

  • fm123

    It’s pretty clear the difference between Samsung and Velocity Micro. One sells product as a distributor/retailer, while the other manufactures and designs ICs in addition to selling product. Big difference.

  • fm123

    Yep, Qualcomm sued many companies that didn’t pay the IP license fee.

  • fm123

    You realize that Intel controls a huge portion of the computer market because if someone did use x86 without license they would quickly sue them.

  • fm123

    If you want to copy something, you can just read someone else’s patent or hire off their employees to know how they do the designs. Not hard to do. It’s harder to know if they copied, so it takes time to research, which is why a lawsuit would not happen quickly.

  • fm123

    I agree. Most people don’t have an understanding of business dealings, which can be very cut throat. This is only a small piece of the whole that is public. Judging from just a small piece is being uneducated.

  • fm123

    “When your competitors are copying you they can’t beat you.”. Not really, given that both Qualcomm and Samsung are many times larger (Qualcomm more than 5x, Samsung many times greater than 5x), it makes it easier to beat them. Why, because that is the tactic large companies can use against smaller ones, tie them up in court wasting their resources. Many small companies went out of business fighting much larger competitors from legal actions. Samsung phones are no better than many competitors, but they sell more because their size enables them to do so. This is one of the exact reasons Nvidia would want to exercise their IP, so larger companies can’t push them out. Look at Intel and AMD, AMD is always hanging on by a thin rope because Intel can easily push them.

  • http://Techgage.com/ Matthew Harris

    Let’s see, nV sued 3DFX for infringing on their IP. Now, yes, this would’ve been a patent troll move if it wasn’t for the fact that nV was also a graphics card MFG that was protecting their IP from a competitor (sort of what’s happening now). 3DFX went bankrupt not from the suit from nV but from trying to become like ATI and buying their own manufacturing. This went very poorly and cost them most of their OEM partners which was the beginning of the end.

    Again, I’ll reiterate, a patent troll owns patents and has nothing to show for it. No hardware, no real R&D, no ODM partnerships. Zip, zero, zilch, nada. Last time I checked, nV has product on the market. My tablet runs a nV chip, my PC has an nV card and runs an nV chipset. Yes, they may be a fabless chip manufacturer but they are, indeed, a manufacturer nonetheless.

  • Android Developer

    But implementation is much harder than a basic idea. Most of the work is done not on the idea, but on how to really make it work. Isn’t it also possible that by the time the patent was published, a company came up with a similar idea?
    Also, about employees, just a few isn’t always enough, as many people work on the same project, each person does its part on a very specific area. There are only really few that know everything that’s needs to be done in order to duplicate the implementation, if at all.

  • crossmission

    I’m seeing so many irrelevant posts here for things people haven’t got the slightest idea about, if someone needs answers on how roughly a patent works I will give a very simplified example.
    You need to connect point A to point B but in-between there are obstacles, the way you choose to avoid those obstacles creates a specific pattern which in turn can be patented therefore registered as an original idea(even if it is not what matters legally is who registered first or who can prove that did it first via real world implementations or specific thesis), usually a human brain will think rather logical if trained correct and might find the same or a very similar solution to connecting point A to point B or even easier, find someone who already solved that problem and simply use their “form/pattern”. BOTH of which when discovered by the first party, will require for the second party to compensate them in some way. In real life now, Samsung manufactures EVERYTHING, and I mean really. truly. everything when it come to information technology, if you want a good flash memory chip, if you want a cutting edge CPU/SOC with high yield, if you want good screens, or even spaceship replacement parts you simply give them a call, NVIDIA on the other hand is a company that makes GPUs, that processors for graphic representation that in the late days have proven so good that are even used in supercomputers as proper CPUs, the last 25 years or so they are innovating in their field and as a result hold a LOT of patents, Samsung is similar even though most of their patent portfolio comes through acquiring other companies they also bring a lot of innovation to the field and have created amazing things especially the last 8-10 years (bare in mind that when a new technology comes out it takes on average 24-30 months to reach the general public and through that time it makes its rounds through affiliates and testers, that gives the competition the opportunity to get their hands on the tech and try and either reverse engineer it or find a better solution by finding the short-comings of that tech.

    Anyhoo…sorry for the long response, I hope I helped clarify a few things as I see the conversation is turning to the “mine is better than yours” side and it probably belongs to 4chan, not here, I just want to point out that I barely finished high school with a passing grade and haven’t gotten to college or anything , it’s just that technology is my passion and I’m following what’s going on in the world the last 16 or so years(I;m 30 by the way) but before I go to comment somewhere I need to have a basic understanding of the subject and I like to actually have something to say, not just bash around…

  • Jizzus

    No, there is no difference. Both Velocity and Samsung are customers of GPU suppliers – what they do with it it’s irrelevant. Samsung builds mobile devices, Velocity builds pcs.

    That’s how ridiculous NVIDIA lawsuit is, and Samsung is making a point by suing Velocity Micro.

    And I’m not even saying that the GPU manufacters are or aren’t infringing NVIDIA IP – that’s a whole different story. But Samsung shouldn’t be paying for this, because they are just customers of ARM, Qualcomm, and Imagination Tech.

    If they are a big or a small customers is once again irrelevant. Yet NVIDIA seems to be trying to make some point, or some PR stunt, with the fact that Velocity Micro is small business in this sort of “fight” they claim, like it’s a noble fight for the honor of something. If Samsung is taking advantage of the geographical location of them? Most likely, just like NVIDIA took advantages of other stuff like trying to impose a ban on the Samsung devices.

    NVIDIA also has a agenda with all of this. There is nothing noble here. This is all about money. They are suing a GPU customer wich is one of the most successful in the world, not by random chance.

  • fm123

    You don’t understand the difference between being a design and manufacturing company and being a “store.” That says a lot. Anyone who designs and manufactures has to understand the details of the products they are creating and producing. A company just doesn’t create their own self branded multi billion transistor components without knowing what they are doing.

  • tacobravo

    I don’t see why Nvidia is only going after Samsung as they are not the only ones with Qualcomm chips in their products. The suit also mentions ARM and Imaginationtech so that should mean every phone/tablet manufacturer should have been named in the suit (companies like Apple, HTC, Motorola, LG, Sony, etc). Seems like complete patient trolling to me.

  • tacobravo

    Do you realize how many other phone/tablet manufacturers use Qualcomm chips? A lot of them. So tell me why Nvidia only wanted to “talk” to Samsung and Qualcomm? Every other major phone/tablet manufacturer uses the same chips. Seems like patent trolling to me.

  • tacobravo

    You know that Samsung has a fab plant for its chips in the US? They do more for this country than Nvida (which buys its chips from TMSC and the likes)

  • 3Rton

    “34. On March 6, 2001, the United States Patent Office duly, regularly, and legally

    issued United States Patent No. 6,198,488Transform, Lighting and

    Rasterization System Embodied on a Single Semiconductor Platform, naming John Erik

    Lindholm, Simon Moy, Kevin Dawallu, Mingjian Yang, John Montrym, David B. Kirk, Paolo E.

    Sabella, Matthew N. Papakipos, Douglas A. Voorhies and Nicholas J. Foskett as inventors. ”

    Just gonna leave this here. Might be worthwhile for all the commentors to actually read their allegation.

  • Jizzus

    You are the one who doesn’t understand they play the role of companys that don’t develop their own GPUs, they buy them from other companys.

    What they do for business, the size of their company, it’s irrelevant. As far as we know Samsung knew what they were doing, specially because they have GPUs from alot of GPU suppliers. NVIDIA is even suing them for GPUs that are supplied by other GPU manufacturers that werent sued. This is how ridiculous it gets.

  • Guest

    I wouldn’t say that it is false & misleading just out of date. Shield Tablet was clearly fastest on launch but has since been eclipsed by the A8X & the Tegra K1 sitting in the Nexus 9.

    At the moment shield Tablet still sits in 3rd place though which considering that it launched considerably earlier then both the A8X & Nexus 9 it’s doing very well indeed.

    1. A8X
    2. Nexus 9
    3. Shield Tablet

    I can’t wait to see a Maxwell based chip that will probually take the lead for good.

  • jonen

    I dont want to pick a side here, i have no idea who`s truly in the right here.

    but to counter sue Nvidia by claiming their “worlds fastest mobile processor” statement as false and claiming their mobile processor is fastest by stating 3 fairly obscure benchmarks is just dumb. i thought Apple suing Samsung for copying phone design was the stupidest legal move i had seen, this is just…wow. did Samsung even thing before they claimed that, if hey stated the A8X being better, it would be debatable

  • Nathan Hladky

    Because those other companies are paying the appropriate royalties and fees and are not breaking patent law. Samsung is not paying the royalties and is fully aware of patent law. I see a lot of bullying commentary, but ask yourself this: If I’m Samsung is able to get away with using patented technology in their devices without paying the royalty and wins in court – are they not the bully, the one that got the lunch and the lunch money? If I build a chip and expect a dollar in royalty for each device sold with my chip in it, and Samsung sells millions of these, would I not consider myself having lost a million bucks? That is the point of this engagement. I see a lot of technicalities that genuinely mean nothing in court being made. Patent law, is patent law. Samsung broke it at great expense and loss to NVidia, they got caught, and are doing what they do best – countering with legal action to scare the pants off NVidia – This ladies and gents, is bullying. Not sure how that point is so inescapable. Now, if NVidia is in fact doing the same thing in a sub-company or their client is doing the same – yes, those entities need to settle up on their own accounts.

  • KellyB

    nVidia isn’t the one suing about the tablet, samsung is? Samsung is comparing apples and oranges so don’t take things out on nVidia..

  • KellyB

    I seriously hope all your samsung & qualcomm hardware you are going to buy needs to be returned because samsung and arm loose. That will be the biggest #ROFL #LOL #EVER

  • KellyB

    That’s only your thinking buddy. You’re simple minded

  • msl74

    Go get’em NVIDIA! – Samsung are just a bunch of thieves who has no interest in intellectual property!


  • msl74

    Samsung is just desperate.

  • shm224

    @fm123 : No, it ain’t. Wow, double standard much? You need to pick up a legal dictionary and read the definition of infringement. Whether one sells or embeds a product from an infringer doesn’t mean jack squat, they all infringe if they use parts supplied or made by the infringer.

  • shm224

    @fm123:disqus : there is no legal difference whether they are just using the design blueprint from an infringer to manufacture chips (eg, Samsung’s use of ARM Mali design) or they are just using infringed products in an entire different product (Samsung’s use of Qualcomm chips or Velocity Micro’s use of nVidia chips). Anybody who monetarily benefit from designing, distributing, selling the infringement product is liable.

    You are just an idiot trying to rationalize nVidia’s fishing trolling operation.

  • shm224

    @msl74:disqus : you just finished reading Apple’s paid Vanityfair article?

  • shm224

    @nathanhladky:disqus : are you saying all all Android OEMs who use GPUs from Qualcomm, Imagination, ARM are paying appropriate royalties, but Samsung? please prove it.

  • Big Mess

    I think the Jury will see that Nvidia Tegra cannot compete with Samsung and Qualcomm sales, so Nvidia brings a case out of no where after a decade bcoz it cant compete any more. The Jury will see through Nvidia`s façade pretty easily

  • Big Mess

    Well Nvidia was being deceptive with its Tegra shield vs a mobile phone. That`s what I call oranges vs Apples. Nvidia have got rather comfortable using these tactics e.g. Apples vs Oranges, and am glad someone is calling them for their propaganda tactics… See you in court Nvidia