OPTi claims infringement by Nvidia

December 11, 2009 // 12:54 p.m.

Tags: #apple #intellectual-property #ip #nvidia #opti #opti-sues-apple #opti-sues-nvidia #patent #patent-troll #pre-snoop #pre-snoop-memory

Notorious intellectual property holding company OPTi has launched arbitration against Nvidia, claiming that the company owes it a substantial amount of royalty payments for a patent on pre-snoop memory technology.

As reported over on Electronista, the patent holder, OPTi - which doesn't actually have a business, per se, but instead makes all of its revenue by enforcing the intellectual property rights granted to it by its not-inconsiderable patent portfolio - claims that Nvidia is in breach of an agreement made between the two companies back in 2006.

This particular technology, which has been built into Nvidia's graphics cards for quite some time, was originally licensed by OPTi on the agreement that it would receive quarterly payments worth $3.75 million (£2.3 million). OPTi claims that Nvidia has failed to pay the last five payments, and could end up owing as many as twelve additional payments should the arbitration go against it.

On the face of it, OPTi has a good chance of succeeding against the graphics card specialist: if Nvidia truly is in breach of a pre-agreed contract then it seems inevitable that it will have to fork out a not-inconsiderable amount of money to repair its relationship with OPTi.

Nor does it seem likely that Nvidia will escape payment by contesting the patent: the self-same patent on pre-snoop memory technology was used by OPTi against Apple, and resulted in the Cupertino-based giant being ordered to pay $21.7 million (£13.33 million) in damages for its infringement - although according to MacDailyNews Apple plans to appeal that ruling.

Do you believe that OPTi has a right to the money that was promised to it by Nvidia, or is it simply a patent troll that needs to be stopped - living off the work of others while contributing nothing to the tech market itself? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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