(Corrects source in fifth paragraph to Nvidia from Qualcomm)
By Noel Randewich and Diane Bartz
SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON, Sept 4 Nvidia Corp
has sued rival chipmakers Qualcomm and Samsung
Electronics, accusing both companies of infringing
its patents on graphics processing technology.
The U.S. chipmaker vies with Qualcomm in the business of
providing chips for smartphones and tablets. It said on Thursday
that Qualcomm and Samsung had used Nvidia's patented
technologies without a license in Samsung's mobile devices,
including the just-launched Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge.
Nvidia said Samsung devices made with graphics technology
from Qualcomm, Britain's ARM Holdings and Imagination
Technologies infringed on its patents.
"They're using our technology for free in their devices
today and they're shipping an enormous number of devices,"
Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang said on a conference call.
Nvidia did not say it is suing Imagination or ARM but it did
say it is asking the U.S. International Trade Commission to
prevent shipments of Samsung devices containing ARM's Mali or
Imagination's PowerVR graphics architectures, as well as
Qualcomm's graphics technology.
Graphics technology from Imagination is also used in Apple
Inc's iPhones. Asked whether Nvidia plans to sue Apple
since it uses Imagination's technology, Huang declined to
"Today we're focused on Samsung and Qualcomm, and we
continue to have productive conversations with a lot of other
companies out there," he said.
Nvidia made its name developing leading graphics technology
for high-end personal computers but has struggled to expand into
smartphones, a market dominated by Qualcomm.
Nvidia discussed its patents with heavyweight handset maker
Samsung for "a couple" of years before deciding to take legal
action, Huang said.
Last year, Nvidia announced that it planned to license its
graphics technology to other companies. But it has not announced
any licensing deals since then.
Nvidia said its lawsuits were filed at the U.S. District
Court for the District of Delaware and at the U.S. International
Trade Commission in Washington.
Such dual filings are typical of infringement lawsuits since
the district courts can award financial damages and the
Commission cannot. At the same time, the Commission can more
easily ban infringing products from the U.S. market.
Samsung and ARM declined to comment. Qualcomm did not
respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Edwin Chan and Diane Bartz; Editing by David
Gregorio and Dan Grebler)