Nvidia sues Samsung and Qualcomm like SemiAccurate said

We told you all this and much more over a year ago

Nvidia logoIf you saw today’s new Nvidia patent trolling lawsuits against Samsung and Qualcomm. SemiAccurate told you about them over a year ago. Not only that, we told you why it was happening, who the targets were and an estimate of the chance of success.

It all started with the announcement of the bogus “Kepler licensing” program, something that had absolutely no merit whatsoever. In fact when we first looked at this laughable attempt at a cover story, we concluded that, “Licensing Kepler and any future IP has absolutely no chance of success.” We were dead on right because we knew that ‘licensing’ was not a real, it was a distraction for later use in court.

We explained the reasons behind this patent trolling exercise here in great detail. We told you how Nvidia was approaching ‘licensees’ and that it was in no uncertain terms a simple patent trolling exercise. We also went into great detail about the chances it had in the market, calling the move an exit strategy from their core businesses and “actively suicidal”. Nothing has made us change our mind in the slightest on the topic since, it is base patent trolling with direct and quantifiable effects on their current businesses.

A little later on we told you about one of the companies they were approaching with their bogus IP scheme, Apple. Also please note that this is only one of the direct results of trying to shake Apple down, another is here, and there are many others SemiAccurate has heard of that do not include Apple. The net result is a massive hole in the bottom line from this attempt at patent shakedown that has already cost Nvidia more than they can every recoup from licensing. This is only one of more than five companies not yet public that SemiAccurate has direct knowledge of Nvidia threatening, not counting Samsung and Apple.

Last February, Nvidia’s CEO Jen-Hsun Huang directly confirmed their IP trolling attempts, we told you about it here. It is worth re-reading the quote from Jen-Hsun about patents in that article, it is quite illuminating in light of the trolling lawsuits just launched. This is exactly what we said would happen, and it is playing out almost exactly like we said. Why do we say that it is almost exactly how? Because we thought this suicidal drive would go after a few small players first in the normal IP trolling method. None signed up even at the very generous terms offered, that should speak volumes about how much merit this trolling exercise has.

So what are the licensing terms? We told you about the up-front fees Nvidia wanted here, and the per-device fees too with numbers like usual in SemiAccurate. In light of what Nvidia is asking, we told you about why they were attempting to ‘negotiate a license‘ first, and why it has nothing to do with licensing at all. If you heard today’s call, this is the game Nvidia is trying to publicly play for later nefarious uses.

So in short, SemiAccurate told you directly about Nvidia’s sham Kepler licensing scheme and why it had no chance of success. We also told you the true intention, patent trolling, over a year ago, and why the key players make licensing a legal impossibility. We told you about a bit of the blowback over the direct trolling threats Nvidia made, and about a few of the targets. We also told you quite directly about the fees Nvidia was asking from the companies they threatened, and who caved in to them. That would be no one, and it was for cause, Nvidia never intended to license, only set a very dangerous stage.

Lastly we told you why this was all playing out the way things were behind the scenes, and what the intentions behind each step were. In short we told you all about the Nvidia patent trolling exercise and current lawsuits, step by step, with names and numbers. Told you. Again. And again. And again. If you care about accurate long-lead tech news, there is only one source.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate