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Judge says NVIDIA violated Samsung's patents

The ITC just threatened NVIDIA with the possibility of a sales ban.
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NVIDIA's attempt at suing its mobile chip rivals into oblivion isn't really going according to plan. On top of losses in its own cases, the graphics pioneer is now facing the threat of a sales ban: a US International Trade Commission judge has ruled that NVIDIA is infringing on three Samsung patents. This isn't a final decision, but the Tegra maker now has to hope that the full ITC has a change of heart when it reviews the case a few months from now. Its main consolation is that one of the patents expires in 2016 -- any ban on products using that patent would only last for a few months at best.

NVIDIA unsurprisingly says it's "disappointed" in the verdict, which rejects its claim that Samsung was dragging ancient, irrelevant patents out of the closet. Samsung hasn't commented, but it clearly begs to differ -- it insists that patents are vital to making systems on a chip. Whichever side is right, NVIDIA now doesn't have much leverage against Samsung. While there's no guarantee that it'll settle, it may not have much choice if it wants to keep its high-powered processors headed your way.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Manu Fernandez]

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