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3dfx Strikes Back

Following on from yesterday's announcement that NVIDIA are taking 3dfx to court for allegedly infringing five of their patents, today 3dfx launched a counter-attack, saying that they considered the NVIDIA suit to be an attempt to deflect an earlier 3dfx patent infringement suit against NVIDIA. 3dfx claims that NVIDIA infringed their patent on multi-texturing, and took the company to court back in September 1998 over the issue.

"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", claimed 3dfx CEO Alex Leupp. "We anticipate receiving rulings as to claim interpretation issues in our existing lawsuit shortly. 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."

Whichever side wins, one thing is sure - the only people who will really gain from these prolonged court battles are the lawyers representing the two companies. And regardless of whether 3dfx win or not, the company may still be in difficulty - their share price has plummeted by over 10% today already, with more disappointing financial results expected to be announced tonight after the markets close.