Nvidia got some good news this week when a federal jury ruled that the graphics chip maker did not infringe on a Samsung Electronics patent, the latest step in a long-running legal dispute that began in 2014.
The case, heard in a federal courthouse in Richmond, Va., centered on memory chips that Nvidia officials had said were developed by engineers in house, but Samsung argued Nvidia illegally used technologies found in its memory products. Originally, Samsung filed a lawsuit against Nvidia in 2014 on four patents, but by the time the case reached trial, it had been pared down to only one—Samsung had dropped one earlier and two more were thrown out after the judge ordered a mistrial.
The dispute began in 2014 after two years of negotiations over licensing broke down. Nvidia in September 2014 filed a lawsuit against both Samsung and Qualcomm, claiming the companies had infringed on multiple patents regarding Nvidia's GPU technologies. Nvidia officials wanted the government to ban shipments of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets that were powered by GPUs from Qualcomm, ARM or Imagination Technologies.
Samsung countersued and asked federal regulators to block the sale of Nvidia GPUs in the United States.
Last year, the International Trade Council (ITC) ruled that Samsung had not violated Nvidia's patents and later found that Nvidia had infringed on Samsung patents. Nvidia is appealing both rulings.
Hector Marinez, an Nvidia spokesman, told Bloomberg that company officials "are pleased with the outcome of this case, which reflects the jury's careful attention to the facts and the law that applied."