US trade agency will investigate Nvidia complaint by Samsung

ITC decision comes after similar investigation was launched into complaints against Samsung by Nvidia

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The U.S. International Trade Commission will investigate complaints by Samsung that Nvidia has infringed some of its patents covering graphics chip technology, the agency said Tuesday. Samsung's complaint was filed in November and was in response to an earlier decision by the same court to investigate a patent infringement complaint by Nvidia against Samsung.

"This is typical legal ping pong," David Shannon, chief administrative officer at Nvidia, said in a statement on the company's website.

He has that right.

The ITC complaints filed by both companies come after they sued each other in federal district courts in Delaware and Virginia.

In recent years, companies in the IT industry increasingly have gone to battle over patents and alleged infringement.

Such cases are often fought and decided in district courts, but the ITC is a popular place to lodge a second complaint because it can move faster than other courts and, if it finds merit in the complaint, halt imports of the infringing products into the U.S. That can have a much greater immediate impact than civil court cases, which often drag on for years.

After a complaint is made to the court, it has the choice of rejecting it or investigating the allegations. The ITC's decision to investigate in both cases doesn't necessarily indicate the merits of either party's complaint.

"Nvidia remains focused on ensuring that we receive fair compensation from Samsung for using our technology in Galaxy phones and tablets," Shannon said.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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