[linux-elitists] Laptop that doesn't suck?

Ben Woodard woodard@redhat.com
Tue Jan 20 14:42:12 PST 2004


On Mon, 2004-01-19 at 20:56, Don Marti wrote:
> begin Greg KH quotation of Mon, Jan 19, 2004 at 02:05:20PM -0800:
> 
> > You are saying that NVidia has code that infringes on another company's
> > IP in their closed source module?  Oh, that makes me feel even better...
> 
> I asked them about this, and the answer is basically that they know
> there are a hell of a lot of graphics patents out there, hardware
> and software, valid and invalid, and if they published driver source
> it would make it easier for a patent holder to make a case, bogus
> or not, against them.

>From what I've heard NVidia say that is being rather kind. Basically
they know that are infringing in a lot of areas. They also know that
several other companies are infringing on their patents and so the only
thing that allows progress to move forward in that whole arena is a sort
of realization of a state of mutually assured destruction. However, the
fact that their opposing patent portfolios are the only think that
protects them against each other also makes it such that is virtually
impossible for another to enter the market space. 

IMHO this situation almost proves that having large "defensive" patent
portfolio idea works from a business point of view but demonstrates how
this philosophy ultimately is anti-competitive.

The other thing that was startling is that their engineer admitted that
ATI has better hardware but they manage a slight edge due to their
software.

-ben





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