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Nvidia threatens NGOHQ over SLI Patch
Old 15 April 2006, 20:37   #1
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A few days ago we have received the following email:

Quote:
We are counsel for NVIDIA Corporation ("NVIDIA"). We write to express our client's very serious concerns about the "SLI" patch that is being offered to Internet users on your website at www.ngohq.com.

As you are undoubtedly aware, NVIDIA is a market leader in graphics display technologies. In particular, our client uses its SLI trademark in connection with its proprietary software and associated hardware to allow computer users to combine multiple NVIDIA graphics solutions into a single system. Not surprisingly, NVIDIA has applied to register the SLI trademark and other marks containing the SLI term in the United States, under Application Serial Nos. 78/458,545, 78/511,794, 78/511,793, 78/512,171, 78/512,166, as well as in a number of foreign jurisdictions, including Israel. Several of these applications have been allowed and/or have published in their respective jurisdictions, including in the United States.

Your website purports to offer a "SLI Patch" ("SLI Patch") to users of your website apparently for the purpose of combining multiple graphics boards based on chips from providers other than NVIDIA. We have attached an exemplar of such use at Exhibit A to this letter. Your SLI Patch appears intended to circumvent NVIDIA's measures to protect its copyrights. Based on the foregoing, NVIDIA has claims against you for violations of the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act ("DMCA"), 17 U.S.C. ß 1201 et seq. The DMCA's anti-circumvention sections provide that an injured party may seek injunctive relief, actual damages, and statutory damages. In addition, while NVIDIA has no objections to legitimate discussions of its products, the SLI trademark here is used in connection with a patch that does not originate from NVIDIA. For this reason, NVIDIA is concerned that use of the SLI name in connection with the SLI Patch is likely to lead to consumer confusion as to whether the product is sponsored by NVIDIA.

NVIDIA demands that you and the ngohq.com website immediately (1) remove any links to the SLI Patch or any software downloads intended to circumvent NVIDIA's measures to protect its copyrights and (2) you cease use of the SLI name in connection with any such patch. We also demand you provide written assurances within five (5) days from the date of this letter that you agree to comply with (1) and (2) going forward. We are hopeful that this matter can be resolved amicably, and look forward to receiving your written assurances as soon as possible. While, again, NVIDIA respects your rights to maintain legitimate product discussions on your website, NVIDIA must take steps to preserve its valuable copyright and trademark rights.
If Nvidia wants to solve this nicely then there is a way to discuss this matter with us. And thatís by PR. There is a way to treat and to contact us on a professional level. Sending us threats to the press is surely not the respected and honored way to do so. Just a reminder, that patch came from Asrock. Our administration does not reside inside the United States and according to the officials in our country, we didnít violate any laws according to your accusations, also Nvidia didnít even bother to register it in our country, they didnít even bother to open an office here. But, if this patch bothers Nvidia Corporation then we have no problem at all to remove it but this will not happen by any kind of threat and demanding as stated in the letter sent to us, if you came to me in a friendly manner. That patch was removed a long time ago. I would like to mention that no one from Nvidia corporation has contacted me (except their attorney). Nvidia, there are ways to solve things with me, and thatís by friendly media relations, not threats.

Have a great easter/passover!

Last edited by Regeneration; 14 October 2010 at 18:22..
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Old 15 April 2006, 20:56   #2
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This is kinda strange, On the top of your website I see ForceWare roundup. Is that the way Nvidia support their fan websites? im not sure other than the fact u use the same 3 letters as them what the problem is . But then again they also use the words forceware and yet you dont recieve a letter complaining about that
 
Old 15 April 2006, 21:08   #3
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that sux
nvidia is full greedy peoples
and that sux
they try to extract money from normal peoples by copyrighting everything
if they dont have a copyright in your country they cant call you to chourt ?
are they going to forbid you to edit thear drivers?
i dont understand


p.s.sorry for bad english
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Last edited by gen.Rage1991hrv; 15 April 2006 at 21:15..
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Old 15 April 2006, 21:22   #4
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Damn Nvidia lets get mad over a name
 
Old 15 April 2006, 21:32   #5
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What a bunch of complete MORONS!?! It really does amaze me that some companies are run by such immature, unreasonable, and inconsiderate people. *deep sigh* And the other part I don't understand is; since ULi is now owned by Nvidia, how is this some terrible "violation" against their copyright? Sure it enables decent SLI on a ULi chipset, but very few will ever attempt it. And any issues with compatibility will likely encourage people to move to a "real SLI" chipset. So in fact, this simply promotes SLI, and Nvidia, not damaging them in any fashion.

At the same time, I can also see your point about them threatening your site with legal action. I doubt that I would comply if I was in your position, just as a matter of principle. Companies like this need to learn to approach things differently.


P.S. Overall just another reason for me to go away from Nvidia when I can. Besides I've never liked the lack of performance with SLI. I just don't like the idea of spending 100% more for video card when it only produces about a 40% increase. Makes more sense to me to just buy the best card you can get and settle for that level of performance, until you can afford another "upgrade".

And when it comes to software physics (Havok X) I'd much rather have a Radeon Xpress 3200 chipset with dissimular ATI graphics cards. That way I buy one "high end" card now and move it to physics processing duties when I upgrade in the future. I simply am not going to buy 2 of anyone's cards at once. If they can't make video cards that are "fast enough" then I'll wait till they can build one "fast enough" to buy one. But I don't see myself ever buying 2 video cards for the same system, even if money was "not a consideration".

Last edited by Cannyone; 15 April 2006 at 21:50..
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Old 15 April 2006, 21:39   #6
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I really and truly admire your stance with them on it. If they would ask, you'd do it; but since they're being pricks you're playing hardball.

Kudos!

G'luck, please keep us posted with developments. Have you heard from Derek Perez yet since publishing this peace or do you expect to be "handled" by Brian?
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Old 15 April 2006, 22:50   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalwanderer
I really and truly admire your stance with them on it. If they would ask, you'd do it; but since they're being pricks you're playing hardball.

Kudos!

G'luck, please keep us posted with developments. Have you heard from Derek Perez yet since publishing this peace or do you expect to be "handled" by Brian?
Hiya Digi nice to see you here been a while

On your last question I emailed Derek Perez myself on behalf of NGOHQ and Regeneration not long after Rege forwarded this email to me on Thursday. So far no response back from him or nVidia directly.

As far as I am concerned and told Rege on MSN that night this is a load of BS and I don't think he should pull anything until NV at least has the decency to contact him directly. This issue belongs to PR and Driver Developement at NV not some quack lawyer.

NGOHQ is one of the few boards online that has a predominately Pro nVidia membership and to date have never been offered sponsorship or CO-OP from NV. What the F**k is up with that ?

I am still very pissed over this issue and perhaps its best if I end my post here for now !!

EDIT: Was Thursday night on the email long weekend here but was 48 hours !!

Last edited by Mac Daddy; 16 April 2006 at 02:09..
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Old 15 April 2006, 23:33   #8
Megatron
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Bah! i dont know what to say. Bad job nvidia!!
 
Old 15 April 2006, 23:40   #9
Don Leon
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Iím shocked to hear about it. Nvidia havenít learned a thing from the past? The public surely donít like when some big corporation is threating some website. Especially their own fan website. I really hope they will do the right thing.

Good luck and keep up the great work!
 
Old 15 April 2006, 23:49   #10
bigirb2002
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im upse that nvidia wasnt more professional about the situation
 
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