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Former SGI Entity Sues Apple, Sony, Samsung Over Graphics

Following the sale of SGI's assets in 2009, GPH is the legal successor of SGI, at least as far as its IP is concerned. In the latest wave of patent suits, GPH is suing Sony, LG, Samsung, HTC, RIM an Apple over an alleged violation of U.S. patent 8,144,158 entitled “Display System Having Floating Point Rasterization and Floating Point Framebuffering.”

The patent covers a geometry processor, a rasterizer compatible with floating point data, as well as a frame buffer connected to the rasterizer that is able to store color values in floating point format. GPH claims that consumer electronics devices offered by the lawsuit targets are violating the patent and are subject to licensing fees. In Apple's case, GPH says that the company's "handheld computers, tablets, cellular telephones, and other consumer electronics and display devices and products containing the same, including Defendant’s iPhone device and other substantially similar devices" are infringing the patent.

This particular patent cannot be traced back to SGI origins as it was filed only on January 11, 2011. There is not history of this patent available in the USPTO database yet. However, GPH did not waste any time launching the lawsuit; the USPTO granted the rights to it on March 27, 2012.

  • Cazalan
    More ridiculous patents! They NEVER search properly for prior art.

    Considering how many years the iPhone has already been shipping, Jan 2011 is super late for a filing date.

    Thus the MAJOR problem with the "first to file" rather than "first to invent" change of the patent system.
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  • MKBL
    Filing-to-issue time is 14 months. I want to send all our patent cases to the examiner. Way more productive.
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  • yumri
    i agree with the Cazalan that 2011 is a very late filing date as the devices in question came out before that year started so wouldn't it have been denied for the same reason why i cant file a patent for the wooden barrel? As everyone has one it seems anyways so there is no uniqueness to it thus not patentable. Thus why our US patent office should be reformed to stop useless patents from coming to be and patenting something which someone else is already doing just to profit off of their R&D.
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  • rosen380
    I think that tech was in SGI's Indigo2 'Impact' Graphics line which came out around 1993. Hell-- if they had patented it when they were actually developing those graphics cards, the patents would probably be expired by now...
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  • MKBL
    Just checked the published patent, and found that there are priority patents and pending applications, way back to 1998. This particular patent is a continuation of the long-running patent family. It's not just INVENTED in 2011, so I retract my previous sarcastic comment.

    Still I am disgusted by patent trolls' wanton lawsuits. As in the trademark practice, those patents that the owner haven't tried to commercialize should be either forced to be licensed, or nullified. It is disgusting that trolls wait until others have spent their resources developing certain technology, hiding under the radar, and come after them once they smell hints of money, like hyenas.
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  • rosen380
    the current company has been in control of SGI for just under three years-- how long is reasonable to give them to go through Silicon Graphics' couple decades worth of IP to identify any infringing tech?
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  • rosen380
    My mistake-- GPH is the portion of SGI that wasn't sold off to Rackable, so I'd imagine that they had a pretty good feel for what tech they had .

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  • shardey
    I wish the patent system wasn't as trollful as it is now. I wonder how far along we would be if innovation was first, rather than greed.
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  • badaxe2
    There should be a time limit on how long after the supposed breach of a patent that supposed owner can pursue litigation for. It's almost like some idiots stumble upon something and think, "Hey! Maybe if we word this cleverly enough we can extort money from people for *cough* our *cough* idea!"
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  • robochump
    Patent Trolls! Low life lawyers always looking for an easy buck.
    Reply