Print 37 comment(s) - last by ToeCutter.. on Oct 27 at 10:20 PM

Patent infringement suits ramp up for the holiday season

In what appears to be a bit of a shocker in the industry, Silicon Graphics Inc. this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ATI Technologies Inc. Current details on the patent infringement is short but SGI is claiming that ATI infringed on SGI U.S. Patent No. 6,650,327, which covers some technical aspect of graphics processing. Details on what exactly the patent is about was also omitted.

Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) is also seeking damages at an unspecified amount and an injunction, stopping ATI from developing and shipping graphics processors that infringe on SGI's patents. At this time, it's not clear what ATI has done, or if ATI will respond with its own lawsuit since both companies have been developing graphics technologies for quite a number of years.

"The Company's technology covered by the '327 patent is an important resource in achieving enhanced graphics processing demanded by today's computer systems," said Dennis McKenna, chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics. The company also indicated that whatever patent 327 was, it also licensed it for use with a number of ATI's competitors -- although the company did not indicate which companies were using the patent.

ATI itself recently completed the final stages of its merger with AMD. ATI shareholders approved of the merger in a recent meeting and both companies are now one. Neither AMD nor it's ATI division had anything to say about SGI's lawsuit.

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RE: quick
By Murst on 10/25/2006 3:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
This patent is the the process of getting data from one "section" of the graphics processor to another. This is in no way similar to SGI patenting graphics cards, MS patentint OS, or Intel patenting CPUs.

It solves a problem which, prior to SGI's solution, did not have a solution.

It may seem obvious to you now, but that's generally the way solutions are. Just because something is obvious AFTER someone comes up with a solution should not, in any way, strip the inventor of their due credit for solving the problem.

RE: quick
By Spivonious on 10/25/2006 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
I have a hard time believing that using floating point numbers for graphics data is really "patentable". There has to be something else.

RE: quick
By Murst on 10/25/2006 3:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
Its not. Half of the people on these forums are just too stupid to realize that.

RE: quick
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2006 5:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you see anything in that patent description about moving data from one place to another?

If it had some kind of a procedure for how the final data eventually ended up in the frame buffer, I'd agree with you. All it says though is that the final data is stored in the frame buffer to be eventually drawn out to the screen.

Maybe in the full patent document theres more but from that description, theres nothing about how data is moved through the GPU.

RE: quick
By FITCamaro on 10/25/2006 6:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
And based on that patent description, to me the only thing they could patent is storing the data in the frame buffer before its written to the screen. And I really don't think SGI thought that up considering there were displays and computer graphics before SGI existed.

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