On Monday, the federal agency that oversees trade policy recommended dismissing patent infringement claims that could lead to a ban on U.S. sales of the Samsung Galaxy line of phones.
The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) staff filed a pretrial brief on the first day of a public hearing the agency is holding related to claims that Samsung and Qualcomm violated patents for graphics processors held by chip-maker Nvidia, Bloomberg reports.
Details of the ITC’s report were not revealed because they contain sensitive business information, but Matt Larson, a litigation analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence, said the agency’s input would likely be a major advantage for Samsung and Qualcomm in court, although he noted that a final decision is not likely until October.
If the court ultimately sides with Nvidia, the two defendants could be required to pay as much as $2 billion in royalties— roughly the same amount that Microsoft collects from licensing its Android mobile-phone operating system.
A more pernicious possibility, at least for consumers, is that a ruling that favors Nvidia could also lead to a ban on the sale of Galaxy smartphones and other products that use Nvidia processors in the U.S.
Samsung and Qualcomm have declined to comment on the ongoing case, and a representative for Nvidia told Bloomberg merely that, “we look forward to making our case.”
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