US Trade Commission to chase NVIDIA's Samsung sueball

GPU dispute seeks to black out latest Galaxies

NVIDIA is trumpeting the US International Trade Commission's (ITC's) decision to launch an investigation into whether Qualcomm and Samsung have infringed its GPU patents, and has asked for a handful of the Korean company's products to be “blocked from entering the country”.

The products NVIDIA hopes to prevent from reaching US soil are the Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 mobile phones; and the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab 2.

That list is nice and fresh: NVIDIA is targeting many recent Samsung devices powered by Qualcomm CPUs, so a ban would probably be hurtful.

The company's complaint points out that Intel has licensed its tech and offers competing CPUs for mobile devices, so consumers would not be harmed if Samsung's products were denied entry to the USA.

US government agencies like the ITC are generally keen to help their corporate citizens maximise the value of their intellectual property, which is probably why Samsung is mentioned a lot in NVIDIA's complaint but US-based Qualcomm is last on the list of those NVIDIA accuses of wrongdoing.

The ITC all-but promises to set a timetable for its investigation within 45 days of agreeing to chase up a complaint. So it'll likely be deep into November before any hint of resolution to this matter can be contemplated. Once the lawyers pile in, there's a fair chance the list of products above will be off the market by the time a final decision is reached, as has happened in Apple's legal tussles with Samsung.

Watching tech giants fight over defunct products is a magnificent spectacle. We'll keep you ringside. ®

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