3dfx to "vigorously defend" against patent claims

NVIDIA's recently announced patent suit against 3dfx is an obvious attempt to force a settlement in 3dfx's own patent suit against NVIDIA, according to a press release from 3dfx today. Here's the meat of it:
SAN JOSE, Calif.- August 29, 2000 -3dfx Interactive® Inc. (NASDAQ:TDFX) stated today that it would vigorously defend against claims of patent infringement made by NVIDIA Corporation in a lawsuit filed August 28, 2000. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and concerns five NVIDIA patents. NVIDIA seeks an injunction restraining the Company from manufacturing, selling or importing certain of its products, as well as monetary damages.

The Company previously filed suit against NVIDIA on September 21, 1998 alleging patent infringement of patents owned by the Company relating to NVIDIA's use of multi-texturing technology. Several hearings have been held with respect to this matter and a decision is expected shortly as to claim interpretation regarding those patents.

"NVIDIA's filing of a suit is clearly an attempt to force a settlement of our existing patent infringement lawsuit against NVIDIA, and we believe demonstrates a lack of confidence in their current defense," said Alex Leupp, president and CEO of 3dfx Interactive. "We anticipate receiving rulings as to claim interpretation issues in our existing lawsuit shortly, and are committed to protecting our intellectual property and maximizing the financial benefits of our technology for our shareholders. We regret that NVIDIA feels compelled to resort to these kinds of tactics as a defense of the pending litigation. 3dfx intends to vigorously defend itself against this litigation."

Yep, 3dfx filed suit against NVIDIA a while back over a patent multitexturing in 3D graphics—a fact I missed in our story yesterday on NVIDIA's suit. So nobody's clean as the driven snow here. Although I can see how the 3dfx patent might have more merit, I'm surely no expert in evaluating these kinds of claims. And anyhow, 3dfx sued first. Given 3dfx's present situation, I wouldn't be surprised to see NVIDIA get a settlement soon.
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