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Business Management

Samsung and Nvidia make peace by ending their patent lawsuits

Nvidia and Samsung have avoided a potentially ugly court battle with a settlement that ends all outstanding intellectual property litigation between the two companies.

Nvidia sued both Samsung and Qualcomm in September 2014, accusing them of infringing seven of Nvidia's GPU patents.

Under Monday's agreement, Nvidia and Samsung will license "a small number" of patents to each other, though they said there's no broad cross-license agreement. There's also no financial payment.

Nvidia's short statement makes no mention of Qualcomm, so the two may still be at loggerheads.

Nvidia filed its complaints in federal district court and also with the U.S. International Trade Commission, asking it to block shipments of Galaxy phones and tablets with graphics processors from Qualcomm, ARM and Imagination Technologies. 

Samsung countersued Nvidia and Velocity Micro for patent infringement, and for supposedly false claims by Nvidia that its Tegra K1 was the world's fastest mobile processor. Samsung claimed its Exynos 5433 was faster in some benchmarks.

The lawsuits disrupted otherwise peaceful relations between makers of ARM chips and opened the door to a potentially ugly court battle. Samsung's ARM-based chips are still used in mobile devices, but Nvidia has been focusing less on phones lately and more on automobiles, virtual reality and PCs.

Nvidia declined to comment further on the agreement and Samsung said it was "happy to resolve this dispute through a fair settlement."

At the time, Nvidia said it was the first intellectual property lawsuit it had initiated against another company in its 21-year history.

IDG Insider

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