NDA lifted in 3DFX-NVIDIA suit

Friday 23rd March 2007, 07:47:00 PM, written by Arun

As the trial pitting 3DFX creditors against NVIDIA was about to begin, the judge in charge of the case decided to lift the case's exceptional NDA. This move follows complaints by press and plaintiffs that this secrecy was both unjustified and potentially unconstitutional. As such, the majority of the case will now be public and covered by press, except when documents deemed confidential by the judge are involved.

The primary reason why this might be of interest to Beyond3D readers is that there are some chances interesting industry and technology tidbits involving NVIDIA and/or 3DFX might get reported by the press, or turn up in the court documentation later. The creditors claim that NVIDIA should have paid the extra one million shares they had been promised if "3DFX meets certain financial targets", which would increase the total cost of the acquisition from $70M to $140M. At the same time, NVIDIA argues the assets they paid for were only worth $14M, and that they actually overpaid.

A number of factors will likely have to be considered during this trial, all based around the 'true' valuation of 3DFX and its assets in that timeframe. By paying 70 million dollars in cash, NVIDIA acquired 3DFX's patents, IP and trademarks. Furthermore, they also got 3DFX to agree to drop the lawsuit against them, which claimed that NVIDIA infringed on 3DFX's patents in nearly all of their products' multitexturing implementation. NVIDIA did not directly acquire 3DFX's employees, but hired 100 of the 120 engineers they interviewed. It seems likely to us that NVIDIA will try to argue that the company's employees were not part of the valuation, while the plaintiffs will claim otherwise.

Anyhow, we'll make sure to let you know if anything noteworthy is revealed through this trial as soon as word leaks out.


nvidia ± 3dfx, trial, rampage

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