Graphics Properties Holdings (GPH) has made a name for itself to monetize about 300 former SGI patents. LG, RIM and HTC hunted as well.
Following the sale of SGI's assets in 2009, GPH is the legal successor of SGI, at least as far as its IP is concerned. In the latest wave of patent suits, GPH is suing Sony, LG, Samsung, HTC, RIM an Apple over an alleged violation of U.S. patent 8,144,158 entitled “Display System Having Floating Point Rasterization and Floating Point Framebuffering.”
The patent covers a geometry processor, a rasterizer compatible with floating point data, as well as a frame buffer connected to the rasterizer that is able to store color values in floating point format. GPH claims that consumer electronics devices offered by the lawsuit targets are violating the patent and are subject to licensing fees. In Apple's case, GPH says that the company's "handheld computers, tablets, cellular telephones, and other consumer electronics and display devices and products containing the same, including Defendant’s iPhone device and other substantially similar devices" are infringing the patent.
This particular patent cannot be traced back to SGI origins as it was filed only on January 11, 2011. There is not history of this patent available in the USPTO database yet. However, GPH did not waste any time launching the lawsuit; the USPTO granted the rights to it on March 27, 2012.