Samsung faces patent infringement case following Nvidia complaint

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) is launching an investigation into Samsung's smartphone and tablet devices following a complaint from Nvidia.

The chipset manufacturer initially lodged its complaint early last month, claiming that several Samsung products contain graphics technology that infringes on its patents.

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Technology companies have increasingly been filing patent disputes with the ITC as it can have more immediate impact than civil court cases, which can last for years. The ITC has the authority to ban imports of devices found guilty of patent infringement.

Nvidia has claimed that the Galaxy Note Edge, Note 4, S5, Note 3 and S4 alongside the Samsung tablets Galaxy Tab S, Note Pro and Tab 2 all use its technology without permission. The ITC has stressed, however, that the commencement of the investigation is not an endorsement of Nvidia's claims.

"Instead of developing its own graphics processing technology, Samsung purchases and uses Qualcomm's infringing processors and GPUs, as well as other processors and GPUs that infringe the claims of the asserted patents," Nvidia said in its complaint.

The US firm also alleges that it has tried to negotiate a licence with Samsung, only for the South Korean company to decline.

As the world's largest smartphone manufacturer, Samsung has been involved in several high-profile lawsuits in recent times.

In 2011, the technology company clashed with Apple over a patent infringement case that ended with both parties being found guilty of various charges.

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Earlier this week it was also claimed that Samsung is refusing to pay Microsoft almost $7 million (£4.3 million) in unpaid interest relating to a late royalty payment.