3dfx, which recently launched its Voodoo 5500 graphics-acceleration boards for the Mac, is to ask its legal team to submit a court motion for summary adjudication in its ongoing battle with rival Nvidia.
The decision follows favourable court rulings in its case against Nvidia, originally filed in September, 1998.
3dfx's president and CEO, Alex Leupp, says: "We see these rulings as a very positive signal that we are winning the battle to protect our intellectual property for our shareholders." The company wants a quick resolution to the case.
If the court's final judgement falls in favour of 3dfx, it could cause a major headache for Nvidia, which could be forced to pay substantial damages, or even to stop selling some of its products. Nvidia sells its graphics-acceleration solutions to third parties to bundle in their products
Technology At issue are patents held by 3dfx in the fields of muti-texturing technology, and a technology called mipmap dithering – two technologies used to display graphics at high resolutions on desktop computers. In a preliminary judgement, the court has declared itself in favour of 3dfx's patent claims on these technologies – which means that should the case continue, the final judgement is unlikely to fall in Nvidia's favour.
Nvidia, meanwhile, filed a countersuit against 3dfx in late August, 2000, accusing the smaller company of infringing five of its patents. 3dfx dismissed the allegations, saying they showed Nvidia's lack of confidence in the current litigation.
3dfx has become a favourite among high-end Macintosh gamers and games developers. The company has won praise in both communities for its support for developers, and its products. The company is handicapped in its race to take market share in the Macintosh space by Apple's decision to work with ATI, which provides all the graphics cards shipped with Apple's machines. 3dfx hopes the Apple will choose to offer 3dfx's cards as an alternative, build-to-order option on the Apple store.