The US chapter of the International Trade Commission (ITC) will investigate the patent infringement suit filed by Samsung against Nvidia.

The lawsuit is about semiconductor-related patent infringement

Recently, the ITC voted in favor of Samsung to allow hearing of the patent infringement suit the company has brought against Nvidia. This lawsuit was initiated after Nvidia filed a suit claiming Samsung used its patent illegally in many of its products sold.

The lawsuit has been filed against Nvidia and 11 other companies that use Nvidia products. Many patent attorneys will now be involved in a lawsuit that will investigate the use of Samsung patents related to chip structures, memory arrays, and other semiconductor technologies. This accusation does not in any way prove the claims of Samsung, the Korean based electronics giant.

However, if Nvidia is proved wrong, ITC could ban the sale of many of its profitable products like the popular Tegra mobile chip and GeForce Graphics cards, Tesla accelerator cards, Grid computing boards and Shield tablets, which could ruin the company’s fortunes irreversibly.

Samsung has also filed complaints regarding Nvidia’s advertisements where the company claims that their Tegra processors are the fastest mobile processors in the world when they are not, says Samsung who claim to have the fastest mobile processors.

Semiconductor makers wage war on Nvidia

Faced with retaliation from the defendants, Samsung and Qualcomm, Nvidia knew at the time of filing their lawsuit they would have to face stiff opposition when asking the courts for compensation from Samsung for having used their graphics parallel processing patents for their Galaxy phones. Nvidia also accused Qualcomm along with Samsung for patent infringements of its Graphics Processing Units (GPU). Subsequently, Samsung went ahead with a lawsuit against Nvidia.

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Executive Vice President of Nvidia David Shannon claims that it can become very ugly when a giant like Samsung decides to battle a smaller company. He further stated in the company’s official blog that the two suits have nothing in common and Samsung’s strategy of fighting a suit, which he said was “predictable”, involves Nvidia’s small partners. The difference between the two parties is that Nvidia, unlike the giant, would be unwilling to involve small partners as it has nothing to do with them.

The battle is over 7 out of over 7,000 Nvidia owned patents

Samsung’s retaliation suit that will soon be heard by ITC can be disastrous for Nvidia and certainly profitable for patent attorneys. Nvidia’s says that it filed for infringement of only 7 patents out of a total of 7,000 which it has developed over a period of 20 years at costs of over $9 billion. These patents were used by Samsung in their Galaxy range of mobiles and tablets, which they have produced and distributed in shiploads, claim Nvidia.

The plight of small companies in patent infringement suits can be potentially dangerous while large companies like Samsung have to expend valuable resources to counter the claims. Who is right or wrong can only be proved in a court of law like the ITC.