NVIDIA clubs 3dfx with patent suit

Yep, they're taking it to court. Here's the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NVIDIA Files Patent Infringement Suit Against 3dfx Corporation SAN JOSE, Calif., - AUGUST 28, 2000 - NVIDIA(tm) Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the leader in advanced graphics processing technology, announced today that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 3dfx Interactive® Inc. (Nasdaq: TDFX) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

NVIDIA's lawsuit involves five NVIDIA patents and seeks an injunction restraining 3dfx from manufacturing, selling or importing infringing graphics chip and card products including VooDoo3, Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 and VSA-100 family of products, as well as monetary damages.

The lawsuit alleges that 3dfx's graphics chip and card products which are used to accelerate 3D graphics on personal computers, infringe on the following NVIDIA U.S. Patents: No: 5,687,357; No. 5,721,947; No: 5,758,182; No: 6,023,738; and No: 6,092,124.

"We have always been on the forefront of innovation in 3D graphics technology and visual computing," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. "This innovation is achieved through the annual investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development. We cannot allow the fruits of this investment to be misappropriated."

Now how in the heck the company behind the then-illustrious Riva 128 could have owned concepts that made it into V3 silicon isn't entirely beyond me, but it seems wobbly.

For the truly curious, here are the patents:

I'm all for defending one's inventions from being ripped off, but on first examination, this late-to-the-game suit smacks of the sort of "strategic litigation" Creative used to eliminate its competition in Aureal. Frustrating. More on this one as it develops.
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