Apple, Samsung sued by ZiiLABS over alleged infringement of graphics patents

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2014
In a lawsuit filed against Apple and Samsung on Monday, ZiiLABS, a subsidiary of A/V solutions giant Creative Technology, claims the companies infringed on ten U.S. patents, many of which deal with graphics processing.

ZiiLABS


The suit was lodged in the patent holder-friendly Eastern District of Texas and asserts ten patents-in-suit against a number of Apple and Samsung devices. More specifically, the litigation targets system-on-chip designs manufactured by Samsung and used in both companies' devices.

Not only is ZiiLABS going after mobile devices, but Macs as well. Claimed infringing computers include MacBooks, iMacs and Mac Pros, as well as what appears to be nearly every Samsung device made in the past couple years.

As the company, formerly known as 3DLabs, Inc, deals mainly with graphics processing hardware and software, most of the patents asserted are within this realm of expertise. Currently, ZiiLABS is marketing the "StemCell" ARM-based applications processor lineup, a version of which has recently seen use in 3M's mobile projector. The chips are also used in parent company Creative's various products.

ZiiLABS is asserting the following patents:
  • Patent No. 5,831,637 for "Video stream data mixing for 3D graphics systems"
  • Patent No. 5,835,096 for a "Rendering system using 3D texture-processing hardware for accelerated 2D rendering"
  • Patent 6,111,584 for a "Rendering system with mini-patch retrieval from local texture storage"
  • Patent No. 6,650,333 for "Multi-pool texture memory management"
  • Patent No. 6,683,615 for "Doubly-virtualized texture memory"
  • Patent No. 6,977,649 for "3D graphics rendering with selective read suspend"
  • Patent No. 7,050,061 for "Autonomous address translation in graphic subsystem"
  • Patent No. 7,187,383 for "Yield enhancement of complex chips"
  • Patent No. 7,710,425 for "Graphic memory management with invisible hardware-managed page faulting"
  • Patent No. 8,144,156 for "Sequencer with async SIMD array"
The validity of ZiiLabs' accusations are unclear, however, as Apple has custom-designed its A-series chips since the iPhone 5's A6 SoC. Prior to that, the company used highly modified versions of existing architectures, though all have been manufactured at Samsung's foundries in Austin, Texas.

ZiiLABS is seeking past and future damages, as well as injunctions against Apple and Samsung. A hearing date has yet to be announced.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    These guys are fighting against some of the biggest tech Giants in the World. Haha.... Just by them out, make it easy.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    ZiiLabs in SINGAPORE hires a lawfirm in The Eastern District of Texas to sue Apple. Another patent Holding scum bucket looking for a payout. It will be great when they can no longer try for an injunction and they pay lawyers fees if they lose. I hope they lose this case quickly!
  • Reply 3 of 33

    "a subsidiary of A/V solutions giant Creative Technology" .. not "Another patent Holding scum bucket".

     

    They are quite big on windows ! I think Apple had to pay them 100 million US$ already once for the iPod design.

  • Reply 4 of 33
    Doesn't Apple and Samsung liscense the GPU Tech. Shouldn't the infringement be suit be targetted at Intel, PowerVr , NVIDIA and AMD.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Quote:



    ZiiLABS is seeking past and future past and future damages, as well as injunctions against Apple and Samsung...

    Does AI even know what a proofreader is? This is horrible.

  • Reply 6 of 33
    gilly33gilly33 Posts: 374member
    Here we go again.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    ZiiLabs in SINGAPORE hires a lawfirm in The Eastern District of Texas to sue Apple. Another patent Holding scum bucket looking for a payout. It will be great when they can no longer try for an injunction and they pay lawyers fees if they lose. I hope they lose this case quickly!

    This company is actually a producer of something, so the only "patent troll" behavior they are displaying is the court they chose.

    The bigger problem is this court. When the entire world knows about this court, shouldn't we examine it's outlying behavior? Apple and Samsung should join together in this for having the trial moved to CA. They both have large presences in CA and it would be more convenient for them, plus closer for those traveling from Asia.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    froodfrood Posts: 771member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     

    Does AI even know what a proofreader is? This is horrible.


     

    Past and future and past and future and past and future and past and future

     

    Catchy.  But I'll stick with the tried and true.

     

    Boots and pants and boots and pants....

  • Reply 9 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    frood wrote: »
    Past and future and past and future and past and future and past and future

    Catchy.  But I'll stick with the tried and true.

    Boots and pants and boots and pants....

    Ice cream and cake and cake...!
  • Reply 10 of 33
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

    Does AI even know what a proofreader is? This is horrible.

     

    Well now, let’s not be hasty. By saying “past and future past and future”, they could mean ‘past past damages’, ‘future past damages’, ‘past future damages’ and ‘future future damages’ all at once.

  • Reply 11 of 33
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,175member
    Moody Blues anyone?
  • Reply 12 of 33
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,870member
    Strange bedfellows. I wonder if Sammy will blame Apple and vice versa.
  • Reply 13 of 33

    quoting

    "  Well now, let’s not be hasty. By saying “past and future past and future”, they could mean ‘past past damages’, ‘future past damages’, ‘past future damages’ and ‘future future damages’ all at once."

     

     

    hahahahahahahahahahaha

  • Reply 14 of 33
    revenantrevenant Posts: 620member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Lord Amhran View Post

     

    Does AI even know what a proofreader is? This is horrible.


    that is a normal problem with this website anymore.  read any feature and you will see it two or three times.  

    noting how long this site loads tells me that they are not spending the money from all these friggen ads on speeding it up. and after seeing the constant repetition they are not spending it on a cheap college proofreader either.

  • Reply 15 of 33
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member

    Patent law must be in terrible shape if these sorts of frivolous claims can be filed against a company like Apple.

  • Reply 16 of 33
    libdemlibdem Posts: 36member

    Why do you think it is frivolous?

    Do you think that spending time,building labs and resources,inventing a new and better way to do things , patenting it and then having your patent infringed upon by two multinational companies is frivolous?

    I suppose you would be ok if a car you built from scratch in your garage was stolen  and the police would dismiss your complaint as "frivolous".

  • Reply 17 of 33
    hattighattig Posts: 858member

    3DLabs were one of the innovators in 3D graphics technologies.  I wouldn't assume these patents are frivolous, even if they have ended up in some funnily-named ARM SoC vendor that's a subsidiary of Creative.

     

    I would also assume that companies like AMD and NVIDIA have licensed them in the past, probably via cross-licensing deals.

     

    Now has Imagination Tech licensed the patents? Have they licensed them for re-licensing onwards, or would another sub-licensee (Apple, Samsung) also need to license the patents?  This seems to be a common issue in patent cases :/

     

    The court case (you can't blame companies for using a court that historically favours litigants) will decide whether the devices actually infringe, and whether Apple and Samsung should have the license or not.

     

    I wonder if they're asking $8 per patent per device...

  • Reply 18 of 33
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     

    Well now, let’s not be hasty. By saying “past and future past and future”, they could mean ‘past past damages’, ‘future past damages’, ‘past future damages’ and ‘future future damages’ all at once.


     

    So what the heck is a "future damage"?  It sounds eerily like a "future crime".  Has Creative Tech. found themselves a trio of precogs, and set up a precrime unit, complete with the clickety-click of little spiders?

  • Reply 19 of 33
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    ZiiLABS, a subsidiary of A/V solutions giant Creative Technology

     

    Creative Technology Ltd. (CREAF)








    Market Cap: 144.02M

     

     

    Or, alternatively, 

    Creative Technology Ltd. (C76.SI)








    Market Cap: 179.15M

     

    Either way, doesn't sound like such a "giant" to me. Hmm...

     

    Sounds more like something Facebook would gobble up in an instant, using pocket change, just to gain their email directory.  /s

  • Reply 20 of 33
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SudoNym View Post

     

    Patent law must be in terrible shape if these sorts of frivolous claims can be filed against a company like Apple.


     

    No idea if it's frivolous or not. Just one more for the courts to slog through.

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