San Jose-based graphics chip maker 3Dfx Interactive Inc has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nvidia Corp, alleging that the company is using its patented multi-texturing technology in the new Riva TNT graphics accelerator. 3Dfx describes the legal action a last resort and claims that it comes only after repeated attempts to reach some sort of settlement with Nvidia. It says the technology in question was developed over the past few years and was first used in coin-operated arcade games circa 1996. The area of computer graphics technology has been prone to a high degree of litigation in the recent past and Nvidia has seen more than its fare share of legal messes. The 3Dfx action becomes the third patent infringement suit filed against the Sunnyvale, California company this year, joining complaints from Silicon Graphics Inc and S3 Inc last spring.