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S3 damns Nvidia ‘negotating tactic’ lawsuit

Which could explain why Nvidia won't say what it's about...

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S3 today slammed rival 3D graphics company Nvidia for launching legal action as a mere bargaining counter against S3's own lawsuit against its rival, launched in May 1998. An S3 spokesman described Nvidia's complaint that S3 has violated its intellectual property rights as "completely without merit", the standard line companies trot out when they're sued for patent infringement. However, S3 does have a point here. Nvidia is keeping details of its complaint very close to its chest, so far refusing to specify which technologies it believes S3 has ripped off and which S3 products contain said unlicensed knock-offs. So how S3 knows the complaint to be groundless is anyone's gues... All we know at this stage is that Nvidia is alleging five patents have been violated, but the company has yet to come clean and reveal which five of its 27 granted patents has been infringed. S3's case against Nvidia centred -- surprise, surprise -- on alleged patent infringement. The suit, which is due to go to court next February, centres on Nvidia's Riva family of 3D accelerators -- ie. all of them before its latest part, the GeForce 256 -- and their use of VGA controller circuitry capable of displaying 3D images in 2D windows and mixing together video and computer-generated images. Of course, while S3 has stacks more graphics related patents than anyone else, most of them were bought in and aren't the product of the company's own expertise which arguably goes against the spirit of the protection of innovation if not the law. ® Related Stories Via takes further stake in S3 Via-S3 deal would make Intel dead grumpy

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