THE US INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION (USITC) has announced that it will investigate LG, MediaTek, Sigma Designs and Vizio for allegedly violating AMD's graphics patents.
AMD filed a complaint back in January, claiming the four aforementioned firms violated its graphic patents in products including televisions, smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, graphics processors and integrated circuits.
The chipmaker's filing states that the companies infringe on three patents related to its concepts for unified graphics shaders and parallel graphics pipelines. Two of these patents originally belong to ATI Technologies, which AMD bought back in 2006.
The exact products involved caught up in the case are not yet known, but AnandTech reports that one of the allegedly infringing products is MediaTek's Helio P10 SoC, which can be found inside certain smartphones such as the LG X Power.
Another SoC that allegedly infringes AMD's patents is Sigma's SX7 SoC found inside Vizio TVs, which, according to the report, uses ARM-developed quad-cluster GPU.
To back up its case, AMD is arguing that these products not only infringe patents, but also damage legitimate licensees of its intellectual property.
To support this, the firm points out that Samsung and GlobalFoundries have licensed its IP, giving the former rights to use it in its Exynos mobile SoCs. and the latter rights to manufacture the appropriate chips.
As AnandTech's report goes on to say, this lawsuit is no doubt a sign AMD setting its sights on the likes of ARM and Imagination, both of which licence their GPU technologies to LG, MediaTek, Sigma Designs and Vizio.
However, the firm is gunning after the product manufacturers instead because it'll be easier to profit from its patent collection, as it's notoriously more difficult to sue over ideas as opposed to physical products.
AMD is seeking a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders, which means that any devices found to contain components that infringe on valid patents will not be sold in the US until a licensing agreement is made. µ
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