Who owns patents of DRAM, EDO RAM, SDRAM, DDR RAM, DDR2 RAM?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

I only know Rambus invented RDRAM. Besides that, which companies or parties
invented the rest of different kinds of memory? I remember back to late
90's, RDRAM was hot when they came out and had Intel's endorsement, but
RAMBUS want to charge a lot on this technology, so the majority of memory
manufactures chose the slower and inferior DDR RAM as their main stream
products and the market eventually phased out the superior but more
expensive RDRAM.

The product died but the company did not. Recently an US judge ruled that
Hynix's DDR/DDR2 products did infringe RAMBUS's patents (I am not sure
Rambus has won the case or the judge just ruled that they can proceed to
sue) while similar law suits were tossed out in Europe. Anyway Rambus began
a new round of law suits, now they added smaller companies which manufacture
DDR or DDR2 in their list. It seems to imply DDR did use some inventions of
RDRAM. My second question is that if DDR is a cheap imitation or reverse
engineered product from RDRAM.

One related question is that if US and Europe have totally opposite outcomes
of the law suits, who will give? Does it mean Rambus can only collect the
royalty on the memory chips sold in US?
37 answers Last reply
More about owns patents dram sdram ddr2
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 03:50:24 GMT, "Ar Q" <ArthurQ283@hottmail.com>
    wrote:

    >I only know Rambus invented RDRAM. Besides that, which companies or parties
    >invented the rest of different kinds of memory?

    There are dozens of different companies with a wide variety of
    patents. Most play nice and have cross-licensing agreements with one
    another. Rambus was a corporate scumbag and tried every dirty trick
    in the book to try and prove some sort of patent infringement.

    If you read some of George's messages about Rambus you'll see that he
    also mentions a company called Mosaid. They actually did a lot of the
    initial design work for DDR SDRAM and have a number of patents on
    that. Initially companies paid them for this work, but now they are
    getting in on the patent folly and are trying to sue everyone+dog as
    well.

    It would be interesting seeing Rambus and Mosaid go at it, since they
    both claim to own patents covering the same things.

    > I remember back to late
    >90's, RDRAM was hot when they came out and had Intel's endorsement, but
    >RAMBUS want to charge a lot on this technology, so the majority of memory
    >manufactures chose the slower and inferior DDR RAM as their main stream
    >products and the market eventually phased out the superior but more
    >expensive RDRAM.

    Uhh.. the term "superior" should be used VERY loosely here, given that
    RDRAM was generally considered to be an INFERIOR technology by all of
    those with a clue. Great bandwidth, but that did dick-all for most
    applications. The latency was worse though and that was what really
    mattered.

    >The product died but the company did not. Recently an US judge ruled that
    >Hynix's DDR/DDR2 products did infringe RAMBUS's patents (I am not sure
    >Rambus has won the case or the judge just ruled that they can proceed to
    >sue)

    Just that they can proceed to sue.

    > while similar law suits were tossed out in Europe. Anyway Rambus began
    >a new round of law suits, now they added smaller companies which manufacture
    >DDR or DDR2 in their list. It seems to imply DDR did use some inventions of
    >RDRAM. My second question is that if DDR is a cheap imitation or reverse
    >engineered product from RDRAM.

    IN a word: No.

    Rambus is a scumbag company that is using lots of dirty tricks. Read
    the patents, they're all trivial things that have been used EVERYWHERE
    in technology for the past 10-15 years! Nothing unique about DDR
    using the technology, it's used for things like hard drives as well.

    Rambus in no way "invented" this technology, they just used the fact
    that the US Patent system is *SEVERELY* flawed to get their patents
    passed through as extensions of a continuation of a division of a
    abandoned extension to some-guy's friends patent so that the date on
    all this stuff is April of 1990. Rambus didn't come up with any of
    this stuff in April of 1990 (the company was founded in March of
    1990), but because of flaws in the patent system they were able to
    patent widely used technology with this date.

    >One related question is that if US and Europe have totally opposite outcomes
    >of the law suits, who will give? Does it mean Rambus can only collect the
    >royalty on the memory chips sold in US?

    It means that we'll have appeals and counter-suits until we're all
    blue in the face and the ONLY people who will make any money out of
    the whole deal are the lawyers.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 03:50:24 GMT, "Ar Q" <ArthurQ283@hottmail.com> wrote:

    >I only know Rambus invented RDRAM. Besides that, which companies or parties
    >invented the rest of different kinds of memory? I remember back to late
    >90's, RDRAM was hot when they came out and had Intel's endorsement, but
    >RAMBUS want to charge a lot on this technology, so the majority of memory
    >manufactures chose the slower and inferior DDR RAM as their main stream
    >products and the market eventually phased out the superior but more
    >expensive RDRAM.

    DDR DRAM is by no means inferior to Rambus' DRDRAM and in some respects is
    superior. DRDRAM was/is a low pin-count high bandwidth solution and
    Rambus' main invention was the interface to the memory chips - IOW had
    little to do with the memory array itself. Basically DRDRAM uses a
    packetized serial communication channel which increased latency somewhat
    over a bus type interface. We'll probably never know what it's full
    potential or downsides in a PC were, since Intel's implementations made
    modest use of the paging strategies available. The low pin count makes it
    attractive for things like consumer devices like game boxes.

    As for the patents on traditional DRAM, they probably number in the
    hundreds if not thousands. Many of them are "traded" through
    cross-licensing agreements between the necessarily large companies which
    actually own the fabs and make the chips. This highlights a flaw in the IP
    business model: that IP companies don't currently have to acquire any of
    the hundreds/thousands of patents which their inventions depend on - IOW IP
    is essentially a parasitic activity and most people cringe at the word
    parasite.

    >The product died but the company did not. Recently an US judge ruled that
    >Hynix's DDR/DDR2 products did infringe RAMBUS's patents (I am not sure
    >Rambus has won the case or the judge just ruled that they can proceed to
    >sue) while similar law suits were tossed out in Europe.

    I believe there was a summary judgement on 11 counts and there are still 30
    or so infringements which will go to jury trial. Whether the summary
    judgements can be appealed I don't know but I'd think the outcome of any
    jury trial is bound to be. <sigh>There could be no end to this and more
    money is going to go into the pockets of parasitic lawyers than is
    decent... not to mention the pump 'n' dump stock traders.

    > Anyway Rambus began
    >a new round of law suits, now they added smaller companies which manufacture
    >DDR or DDR2 in their list. It seems to imply DDR did use some inventions of
    >RDRAM. My second question is that if DDR is a cheap imitation or reverse
    >engineered product from RDRAM.

    Rambus' patent portfolio is simply a web of deceit fabricated by lawyers
    who know how to work a deficient patent system. From an initial filing in
    1990, there is a complex (unfathomable ?) tree of abandonments,
    continuations, divisions and extensions - basically they want it both ways:
    they want the dating of the patents to go back to the early 90s but they
    also want them refreshed so that they don't expire too soon.

    There used to be a rule of patents such that you could not get a patent
    which consisted of combining two existing inventions - one primary example
    of this was that the guy who invented the pencil with the rubber tip eraser
    on the end could not get a patent on his invention. This "rule" seems to
    be largely ignored now - dunno if it was ever officially retracted.

    Many of the Rambus claims are simply that: use of standard, obvious, even
    trivial mechanisms, like count-down registers, as applied to a memory
    interface. As I understand it, things like DLLs, and DDR signalling are
    hazy areas - similar mechanisms have been used as common practice in the
    industry so any ruling can be argued ad nauseum. A remark from a judge who
    ruled in Rambus' favor at the Infineon appeal is an interesting reflection
    on their corporate behavior: "While such actions impeach Rambus's business
    ethics....." IOW legally, and under IMO flawed patent rulings, they were
    in the right but they are nevertheless scum.

    Apparently Geoff Tate worked for AMD for 10 years, on the x86 and 29000
    processors, before he founded Rambus so one has to wonder how much his
    "inventions" really might belong to AMD - usually employee agreements
    specify quite clearly that any inventions made while in employment, and
    related to the corporation's business, belong to the corporation. Did his
    ideas come to him in a dream?... after he left AMD? Did AMD drop the ball
    here?

    >One related question is that if US and Europe have totally opposite outcomes
    >of the law suits, who will give? Does it mean Rambus can only collect the
    >royalty on the memory chips sold in US?

    I'm not sure where the European patent office now stands - I recall reading
    a while back that the patent offices of the individual countries were
    fighting attempts by the European central bureaucracy to establish a
    pan-European patent office. There were also wild disagreements on patent
    policies between the various countries which was also a stumbling block to
    establishing policies for any centralized decision making on patent
    application processing.

    Things are in a mess there too and I don't expect any ruling to be final
    for years... but if the outcomes are different then I believe that what you
    say is essentially true... that Rambus would only be able to collect where
    they had approvals and successful court rulings. That could, of course,
    lead to retaliations and trade disputes.

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Tony Hill" <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    news:bovov091pr86hdoepvsmkvk3mqbd14tlq0@4ax.com...
    >
    > It would be interesting seeing Rambus and Mosaid go at it, since
    they
    > both claim to own patents covering the same things.

    Tony, companies that both manufacture parts can swap patents so that
    they can get on with their businesses, which is making and selling
    parts.

    Neither Rambus nor Mosaid make parts. They cannot swap patents with
    companies that do make parts. The only way they can make money is by
    either patent royalties, or by winning lawsuits enforcing royalties.

    Reading between the lines, I sense that you feel that nobody should
    have to pay royalties in order to make parts. Am I wrong on this?

    An IP company (e.g. Rambus) would be derelict _not_ to take maximum
    advantage of patent legalities, since that's the only way it can make
    money, and the company's officers are legally required to work in
    their stockholders' interest, not in the larger interest of society.
    Corporations are not charities.

    As you probably know, I'm not a Rambus fan. But at least I understand
    why they do what they do.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 12:53:01 GMT, "Felger Carbon" <fmsfnf@jfoops.net>
    wrote:

    <snip>

    >
    >Neither Rambus nor Mosaid make parts. They cannot swap patents with
    >companies that do make parts. The only way they can make money is by
    >either patent royalties, or by winning lawsuits enforcing royalties.
    >
    >Reading between the lines, I sense that you feel that nobody should
    >have to pay royalties in order to make parts. Am I wrong on this?
    >
    >An IP company (e.g. Rambus) would be derelict _not_ to take maximum
    >advantage of patent legalities, since that's the only way it can make
    >money, and the company's officers are legally required to work in
    >their stockholders' interest, not in the larger interest of society.
    >Corporations are not charities.
    >

    The discrepancy between theory and practice in patent law sometimes
    seems large.

    In theory, patent law should make it possible for investors and
    innovators to reap the rewards of risk-taking and ingenuity.

    Defensible intellectual property is essential to raising venture
    capital. In that sense, patents do seem to work, at least sometimes.

    At other times, the rewards seem to go to the sharpsters and the
    lawyers. That's just life, I guess.

    RM
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 07:22:57 -0500, George Macdonald
    <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:

    >business model: that IP companies don't currently have to acquire any of
    >the hundreds/thousands of patents which their inventions depend on - IOW IP
    >is essentially a parasitic activity and most people cringe at the word
    >parasite.

    While Rambus is being a scumbag about how they do it, I don't quite
    agree that IP is a essentially a parasitic activity. People should
    reap just rewards for their creativity. The problem here I see it is
    instead of protecting people's right to be rewarded, the current
    system simply work for corporations. Companies being companies must
    produce profits, in some unethical cases, it involves playing the
    system to obtain IP rights that shouldn't had been theirs.


    >There used to be a rule of patents such that you could not get a patent
    >which consisted of combining two existing inventions - one primary example
    >of this was that the guy who invented the pencil with the rubber tip eraser
    >on the end could not get a patent on his invention. This "rule" seems to
    >be largely ignored now - dunno if it was ever officially retracted.

    It might never had existed? As far as I know, combining two inventions
    is a creative & innovative step especially if it wasn't obvious to
    everybody in that industry before you did it. Sure everybody might say
    it's obvious we can add an eraser to the end of a pencil now that it's
    invented, so why didn't everybody do it before?

    My take is, if nobody did it before you filed the patent, then it
    should be patentable. Not doing it does not mean not patenting though,
    if everybody did it thus nobody bothered to patent it, obviously it
    shouldn't be patentable. Which is basically the problem with Rambus,
    everybody did it, but only they went and (unrightly) got the patent.

    >Apparently Geoff Tate worked for AMD for 10 years, on the x86 and 29000
    >processors, before he founded Rambus so one has to wonder how much his
    >"inventions" really might belong to AMD - usually employee agreements
    >specify quite clearly that any inventions made while in employment, and
    >related to the corporation's business, belong to the corporation. Did his
    >ideas come to him in a dream?... after he left AMD? Did AMD drop the ball
    >here?

    Or they might be waiting for Geoff to get all the monies before sueing
    him for it :p

    p.s. I'm reading up on these stuff lately to see if I can get a patent
    on push buttons like those hundred odd pieces on your keyboard, your
    door bell, your remote, your ... :ppPp
    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    > My take is, if nobody did it before you filed the patent, then it
    > should be patentable. Not doing it does not mean not patenting though,
    > if everybody did it thus nobody bothered to patent it, obviously it
    > shouldn't be patentable. Which is basically the problem with Rambus,
    > everybody did it, but only they went and (unrightly) got the patent.
    >

    This is what troubles me. I think all parties came to the same table and
    established an industrial standard, but no one was in charge to register the
    patents for the standard. So Rambus said, Ha, I will take it since no one
    wants it.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 18:31:54 +0000, Ar Q wrote:

    >
    >> My take is, if nobody did it before you filed the patent, then it
    >> should be patentable. Not doing it does not mean not patenting though,
    >> if everybody did it thus nobody bothered to patent it, obviously it
    >> shouldn't be patentable. Which is basically the problem with Rambus,
    >> everybody did it, but only they went and (unrightly) got the patent.
    >>
    >
    > This is what troubles me. I think all parties came to the same table and
    > established an industrial standard, but no one was in charge to register the
    > patents for the standard. So Rambus said, Ha, I will take it since no one
    > wants it.

    Who woulda thunk you could get a patent for a counter?

    No, as has been said before in this thread, there are plenty patents on
    DRAM and DDR. DRAM manufacturers trade patent portfolios so they can stay
    in business. Rambus, Shambus, and Scambus don't have any reason to
    "trade", so all they needed was a key patent. ...any patent. ...no mater
    how lame.

    --
    Keith
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Ar Q wrote:
    >>My take is, if nobody did it before you filed the patent, then it
    >>should be patentable. Not doing it does not mean not patenting though,
    >>if everybody did it thus nobody bothered to patent it, obviously it
    >>shouldn't be patentable. Which is basically the problem with Rambus,
    >>everybody did it, but only they went and (unrightly) got the patent.
    >>
    >
    >
    > This is what troubles me. I think all parties came to the same table and
    > established an industrial standard, but no one was in charge to register the
    > patents for the standard. So Rambus said, Ha, I will take it since no one
    > wants it.

    There was also the issue of Rambus's membership in an industrial
    consortium called JEDEC which set all of the standards for everything
    from EDO RAM to the current DDR2. One of the requirements of JEDEC
    membership is that if you want to sit in on all of the secret meetings
    of the standards body, you have to reveal all of your own patents, and
    tell your co-members whether any of the work that the industry group is
    working on infringe on any of your own patents and warn them about it.
    Rambus never revealed whether any of the work JEDEC was working on had
    any infringement potential on their patents. It's been generally
    speculated that the reason Rambus kept quiet during JEDEC meetings was
    because they did want to charge royalties on the standards that
    eventually came out, so it could make income from it.

    An even less flattering speculation was that Rambus kept quiet because
    it really had no patents that infringed anything JEDEC was working on,
    but it wanted to sit in on the meetings anyways, so that it could modify
    its very general patents to include material that was being worked on
    inside JEDEC secretly.

    Yousuf Khan
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    "Ar Q" <ArthurQ283@hottmail.com> wrote :

    > Who owns patents of DRAM, EDO RAM, SDRAM, DDR RAM, DDR2 RAM?

    Rambus :) they patenten everything and your dog


    Pozdrawiam.
    --
    RusH //
    http://randki.o2.pl/profil.php?id_r=352019
    Like ninjas, true hackers are shrouded in secrecy and mystery.
    You may never know -- UNTIL IT'S TOO LATE.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 17:22:35 GMT, a?n?g?e?l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com
    (The little lost angel) wrote:

    >On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 07:22:57 -0500, George Macdonald
    ><fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:
    >
    >>business model: that IP companies don't currently have to acquire any of
    >>the hundreds/thousands of patents which their inventions depend on - IOW IP
    >>is essentially a parasitic activity and most people cringe at the word
    >>parasite.
    >
    >While Rambus is being a scumbag about how they do it, I don't quite
    >agree that IP is a essentially a parasitic activity. People should
    >reap just rewards for their creativity. The problem here I see it is
    >instead of protecting people's right to be rewarded, the current
    >system simply work for corporations. Companies being companies must
    >produce profits, in some unethical cases, it involves playing the
    >system to obtain IP rights that shouldn't had been theirs.

    If an inventor does not have access to the multiple patents required to
    work in concert with, and prove that his device works, he has no basis for
    anyone to believe his enhancement to the base device works. As an extreme
    case, he/she then has the option of building their own fab or convincing a
    foundry to do it and finding the funding to back all this up and one way or
    another, is going to have to pay for the dependent IP. If I, as a mfr,
    owned that dependent IP, I'd want to be "fairly compensated" [Rambus
    favorite phrase] for the use of it... and not on a per device royalty
    basis.

    If, as in the case of Mosaid, some of the dependent IP is owned by a
    different IP-only company then should Rambus have to pay, or trade with,
    Mosaid for that IP? We then have the possibility of IP companies ganging
    up on mfrs with a combined portfolio - legal?... I dunno but certainly
    challengable. The model *is* flawed!

    It's also more than "how they do it" - it's also a case of what they did...
    and what the patent office allowed them to do.

    In the case of Mosaid, they had worked for a number of years as a contract
    company for design of circuits -- someone who posts occasionally in this
    group works/worked for Mosaid. What the ownership of any resulting IP was
    at the end of any design project I don't know but they must have been
    fairly compensated for that design work; possibly they sold themselves
    cheap to get a foot in the door. Now, in the past 18months or so, Mosaid
    laid off a fair portion of their engineering staff and has decided to
    follow Rambus in suing memory mfrs for patent infringement largely based on
    that contract work.

    >>There used to be a rule of patents such that you could not get a patent
    >>which consisted of combining two existing inventions - one primary example
    >>of this was that the guy who invented the pencil with the rubber tip eraser
    >>on the end could not get a patent on his invention. This "rule" seems to
    >>be largely ignored now - dunno if it was ever officially retracted.
    >
    >It might never had existed? As far as I know, combining two inventions
    >is a creative & innovative step especially if it wasn't obvious to
    >everybody in that industry before you did it. Sure everybody might say
    >it's obvious we can add an eraser to the end of a pencil now that it's
    >invented, so why didn't everybody do it before?

    Huh? Oh it *did* exist and is quoted as a classic example of
    patentability. If it's an obvious "invention" how can you know that nobody
    else has "invented" it and been using it independently for years.

    >My take is, if nobody did it before you filed the patent, then it
    >should be patentable. Not doing it does not mean not patenting though,
    >if everybody did it thus nobody bothered to patent it, obviously it
    >shouldn't be patentable. Which is basically the problem with Rambus,
    >everybody did it, but only they went and (unrightly) got the patent.

    A patent has to be original and non-obvious.

    >>Apparently Geoff Tate worked for AMD for 10 years, on the x86 and 29000
    >>processors, before he founded Rambus so one has to wonder how much his
    >>"inventions" really might belong to AMD - usually employee agreements
    >>specify quite clearly that any inventions made while in employment, and
    >>related to the corporation's business, belong to the corporation. Did his
    >>ideas come to him in a dream?... after he left AMD? Did AMD drop the ball
    >>here?
    >
    >Or they might be waiting for Geoff to get all the monies before sueing
    >him for it :p

    I suggest you take a look at RMBS insider trading.:-)

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 00:53:28 -0500, George Macdonald
    <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:

    >Huh? Oh it *did* exist and is quoted as a classic example of
    >patentability. If it's an obvious "invention" how can you know that nobody
    >else has "invented" it and been using it independently for years.

    You mean the pencil+eraser existed before the patent or ?

    >A patent has to be original and non-obvious.

    Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think the
    best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least a reasonable
    number of persons have done the same thing for that particular purpose
    in that particular industrial segment prior to the disclosure.


    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In article <41fe4f1c.248688765@news.singnet.com.sg>, a?n?g?e?
    l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com says...
    > On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 00:53:28 -0500, George Macdonald
    > <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Huh? Oh it *did* exist and is quoted as a classic example of
    > >patentability. If it's an obvious "invention" how can you know that nobody
    > >else has "invented" it and been using it independently for years.
    >
    > You mean the pencil+eraser existed before the patent or ?

    The pencil existed and the eraser existed. The function of either
    didn't change when they were combined into one unit, thus combining
    them was deemed to be "obvious to one skilled in the art" and thus not
    patentable.

    > >A patent has to be original and non-obvious.
    >
    > Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think the
    > best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least a reasonable
    > number of persons have done the same thing for that particular purpose
    > in that particular industrial segment prior to the disclosure.

    The phrase is "obvious to one skilled in the art". It is not
    "obvious" if one sees it and then says "man that's so obvious, I wish
    I'd thought of it". "Obvious" has a legal definition and isn't at all
    straight-forward. ...which is only part of the problem.

    --
    Keith
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > In article <41fe4f1c.248688765@news.singnet.com.sg>, a?n?g?e?
    > l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com says...
    >> Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think
    >> the best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least
    >> a reasonable number of persons have done the same thing for
    >> that particular purpose in that particular industrial segment
    >> prior to the disclosure.
    >
    > The phrase is "obvious to one skilled in the art". It is not
    > "obvious" if one sees it and then says "man that's so obvious,
    > I wish I'd thought of it". "Obvious" has a legal definition
    > and isn't at all straight-forward. ...which is only part of
    > the problem.

    I think L'Angel has a good point, multiple independant
    discovery (invention) is a valid indicator of "obvious
    to one skilled in the art". The converse, however, isn't
    necessarily true.

    -- Robert
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In article <7zsLd.21357$wi2.10956@newssvr11.news.prodigy.com>,
    redelm@ev1.net.invalid says...
    > Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > > In article <41fe4f1c.248688765@news.singnet.com.sg>, a?n?g?e?
    > > l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com says...
    > >> Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think
    > >> the best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least
    > >> a reasonable number of persons have done the same thing for
    > >> that particular purpose in that particular industrial segment
    > >> prior to the disclosure.
    > >
    > > The phrase is "obvious to one skilled in the art". It is not
    > > "obvious" if one sees it and then says "man that's so obvious,
    > > I wish I'd thought of it". "Obvious" has a legal definition
    > > and isn't at all straight-forward. ...which is only part of
    > > the problem.
    >
    > I think L'Angel has a good point, multiple independant
    > discovery (invention) is a valid indicator of "obvious
    > to one skilled in the art". The converse, however, isn't
    > necessarily true.

    That's where the problem comes in. Multiple invention doesn't
    necessarily make something "obvious", at least under the law as it
    stands. Prior art does show that an invention isn't novel (another
    requirement) though. Rambus' "inventions" are easily shown to have
    prior art. AFAIC, the real problem with Rambus' actions is in their
    use of the "submarine patent".

    --
    Keith
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:36:04 GMT, a?n?g?e?l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com
    (The little lost angel) wrote:

    >On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 00:53:28 -0500, George Macdonald
    ><fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Huh? Oh it *did* exist and is quoted as a classic example of
    >>patentability. If it's an obvious "invention" how can you know that nobody
    >>else has "invented" it and been using it independently for years.
    >
    >You mean the pencil+eraser existed before the patent or ?

    I thought you were suggesting that the "rule" had not existed.

    >>A patent has to be original and non-obvious.
    >
    >Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think the
    >best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least a reasonable
    >number of persons have done the same thing for that particular purpose
    >in that particular industrial segment prior to the disclosure.

    Keith's response(s) cover it I think.:-) A serious problem here is that
    the examiners who make decisions on patents don't actually "practice"...
    leading to a situation where we have a "race" to the patent office by
    people who are more expert in law than in science.

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > That's where the problem comes in. Multiple invention
    > doesn't necessarily make something "obvious", at least
    > under the law as it stands.

    Someone is suggesting that patent law is good as it stands? :)

    Perhaps if two people invent the same thing, one might claim
    co-incidence and the invention non-obvious. But if dozens
    do, it's almost certainly obvious, not co-incidence.

    -- Robert
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In article <1bvLd.25869$iC4.10101@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com>,
    redelm@ev1.net.invalid says...
    > Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > > That's where the problem comes in. Multiple invention
    > > doesn't necessarily make something "obvious", at least
    > > under the law as it stands.
    >
    > Someone is suggesting that patent law is good as it stands? :)

    I don't think I quite said *that*. ;-)

    I'm cautious about throwing out the baby with the bath water, and
    having people who really don't understand the law decide which is
    which. Because of what I do I'm a (very) little more than a layman
    here and would rather not see the bonfires lit quite yet. ;-)

    > Perhaps if two people invent the same thing, one might claim
    > co-incidence and the invention non-obvious. But if dozens
    > do, it's almost certainly obvious, not co-incidence.

    If only one gets to the patent office? Can you believe the other
    eleven didn't pre-date their notebooks? If I can show that I shipped
    invention 'X' before you patented it though... You're not likely to be
    able to draw a black line on "obviousness", but "prior art" is rather
    easy. That's why challenges rarely go to obviousness.

    Then there's also the problem of timeliness. The patent offices can
    only afford so much research and rely mostly on previous patent
    applications for "prior art" searches. I don't think it reasonable to
    ask anyone to search all written records for "prior art". I'd rather
    have perhaps a "public discussion" period before a patent is granted.
    One can then have their say, or forever hold their peace. "I hereby
    pronounce..."

    --
    Keith
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > AFAIC, the real problem with Rambus' actions is in their
    > use of the "submarine patent".

    So? Rambus' actions in promoting their patented invention into
    an industry standard without prior disclosure of interest and
    intention to charge royalties gives grounds for equitable estoppel.
    They might have the patent, but their actions amount to a waiver
    of royalties.

    -- Robert
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In article <1gvLd.25870$iC4.15321@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com>,
    redelm@ev1.net.invalid says...
    > Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    > > AFAIC, the real problem with Rambus' actions is in their
    > > use of the "submarine patent".
    >
    > So? Rambus' actions in promoting their patented invention into
    > an industry standard without prior disclosure of interest and
    > intention to charge royalties gives grounds for equitable estoppel.
    > They might have the patent, but their actions amount to a waiver
    > of royalties.

    Were my name Isaac Parker, yes. The problem here is that the others
    were shown to be "unclean" as well, further muddying the waters.

    --
    Keith
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Completely wrong, Rambus did not promote their technology at JEDEC and
    were in fact the only company to have been refused the chance to do so
    by . Taken from the initial decision of an investigation into this
    matter by the FTC: (Note Gordon Kelly worked at IBM at the time)

    824. The chairman of the meeting, Gordon Kelley, testified that prior
    to the May 1992 meeting Crisp had spoken to him about the possibility
    of Rambus scheduling a presentation concerning DRAM design. (G. Kelley,
    Tr. 2553). G. Kelley also testified that he had refused to allow Rambus
    to present its technology for standardization at JEDEC on this and
    another occasion, even though he had never barred any other member
    company tfom presenting its technology. (G. Kelley, Tr. 2649-58).
    825. G. Kelley had a clear confict of interest; he made and enforced
    his unilateral decision to bar Rambus tfom presenting its technology
    two weeks after he wrote in an internal company document that his
    company s interests were threatened by the Rambus technology and were
    best served if Rambus "fails to become standard." (R 279 at 7). He did
    not disclose this confict to Crisp or to anyone else. (G. Kelley, Tr.
    2656-57)

    Text of Initial Decision of Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen J.
    McGuire [Public Version] [PDF 19MB]
    http://www.ftc.gov/os/adjpro/d9302/040223initialdecision.pdf (19 MB)

    Basically what Rambus was accused of is fraud by omission/silence, in
    that members of JEDEC claimed Rambus was required to disclose by virtue
    of just being a member of JEDEC.
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 18:41:53 -0500, George Macdonald wrote:

    > On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:36:04 GMT, a?n?g?e?l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com
    > (The little lost angel) wrote:
    >
    >>On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 00:53:28 -0500, George Macdonald
    >><fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>>Huh? Oh it *did* exist and is quoted as a classic example of
    >>>patentability. If it's an obvious "invention" how can you know that nobody
    >>>else has "invented" it and been using it independently for years.
    >>
    >>You mean the pencil+eraser existed before the patent or ?
    >
    > I thought you were suggesting that the "rule" had not existed.
    >
    >>>A patent has to be original and non-obvious.
    >>
    >>Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think the
    >>best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least a reasonable
    >>number of persons have done the same thing for that particular purpose
    >>in that particular industrial segment prior to the disclosure.
    >
    > Keith's response(s) cover it I think.:-) A serious problem here is that
    > the examiners who make decisions on patents don't actually "practice"...
    > leading to a situation where we have a "race" to the patent office by
    > people who are more expert in law than in science.

    Actually, I think it's the other way around. Patent examiners know the
    law (though they are not necessarily lawyers), but they may not at the
    leading edge of science. They don't go to all the symposiums and may not
    be read on the proceedings from such. They're certainly not present in
    standards committee meetings to know what's being discussed.

    That's why I think the best *single* change would be the "review" period
    I've suggested. To balance that "cost" it should be the "final" arbiter,
    not a patent examiner that is over-worked and under-paid. Add to that a
    stiff penalty for losing a challenge...

    --
    Keith
  22. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 18:31:54 GMT, "Ar Q" <ArthurQ283@hottmail.com>
    wrote:

    >> My take is, if nobody did it before you filed the patent, then it
    >> should be patentable. Not doing it does not mean not patenting though,
    >> if everybody did it thus nobody bothered to patent it, obviously it
    >> shouldn't be patentable. Which is basically the problem with Rambus,
    >> everybody did it, but only they went and (unrightly) got the patent.
    >>
    >
    >This is what troubles me. I think all parties came to the same table and
    >established an industrial standard, but no one was in charge to register the
    >patents for the standard. So Rambus said, Ha, I will take it since no one
    >wants it.

    The group that came together is called JEDEC, and they have VERY
    strict guidelines on divulging patents. Rambus blatantly ignored
    these guidelines and JEDEC charged them with patent fraud. The case
    went to court but the judge (in an appeal court) ruled that JEDEC was
    unable to enforce their rules. As I understand it, the main reason
    why the members of JEDEC lost was because most of the other members
    were doing the same damn thing that they accused Rambus of doing. ie
    even though Rambus were the biggest scumbags of the group, they were
    far from the only scumbags there.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  23. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 12:53:01 GMT, "Felger Carbon" <fmsfnf@jfoops.net>
    wrote:

    >"Tony Hill" <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote in message
    >news:bovov091pr86hdoepvsmkvk3mqbd14tlq0@4ax.com...
    >>
    >> It would be interesting seeing Rambus and Mosaid go at it, since
    >they
    >> both claim to own patents covering the same things.
    >
    >Tony, companies that both manufacture parts can swap patents so that
    >they can get on with their businesses, which is making and selling
    >parts.
    >
    >Neither Rambus nor Mosaid make parts.

    Mosaid does still have a small business making actual widgets, mainly
    memory testers. They were actually a bit of a leader in their field
    for most of their 30-year history. However lately they seem to be
    doing their best to get rid of that in favor of being a pure-IP
    company.

    > They cannot swap patents with
    >companies that do make parts. The only way they can make money is by
    >either patent royalties, or by winning lawsuits enforcing royalties.
    >
    >Reading between the lines, I sense that you feel that nobody should
    >have to pay royalties in order to make parts. Am I wrong on this?

    Not at all, just that people shouldn't have to pay royalties to a
    company for something that company did little to no work at inventing
    but just happened to have worked the patent system to their advantage.
    I mean honestly, paying x dollars per chip for a friggin' counter?!?

    I see no problem at all in Rambus collecting royalties on their RDRAM
    or XDR memory since it's clear that they did real and viable work to
    develop those technologies. However their patents on SDRAM and now
    DDR/DDR2 are much less meaningful.

    >An IP company (e.g. Rambus) would be derelict _not_ to take maximum
    >advantage of patent legalities, since that's the only way it can make
    >money, and the company's officers are legally required to work in
    >their stockholders' interest, not in the larger interest of society.
    >Corporations are not charities.

    Very true, which is why I see the primary problem here being those
    very patent legalities. There's no way that Rambus should have been
    able to get patents on most of what they were given patents to. The
    technology was very obvious and in widespread use when most of these
    patents were granted, it's only due to the web of divisions,
    continuations, extensions and abandonment's that they were able to get
    those patents.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  24. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 21:27:44 -0500, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:

    >On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 18:41:53 -0500, George Macdonald wrote:
    >
    >> On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 15:36:04 GMT, a?n?g?e?l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com
    >> (The little lost angel) wrote:
    >>
    >>>On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 00:53:28 -0500, George Macdonald
    >>><fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>>Huh? Oh it *did* exist and is quoted as a classic example of
    >>>>patentability. If it's an obvious "invention" how can you know that nobody
    >>>>else has "invented" it and been using it independently for years.
    >>>
    >>>You mean the pencil+eraser existed before the patent or ?
    >>
    >> I thought you were suggesting that the "rule" had not existed.
    >>
    >>>>A patent has to be original and non-obvious.
    >>>
    >>>Anything is obvious after it's done the first time no? I think the
    >>>best gauge of obvious would simply be whether at least a reasonable
    >>>number of persons have done the same thing for that particular purpose
    >>>in that particular industrial segment prior to the disclosure.
    >>
    >> Keith's response(s) cover it I think.:-) A serious problem here is that
    >> the examiners who make decisions on patents don't actually "practice"...
    >> leading to a situation where we have a "race" to the patent office by
    >> people who are more expert in law than in science.
    >
    >Actually, I think it's the other way around. Patent examiners know the
    >law (though they are not necessarily lawyers), but they may not at the
    >leading edge of science. They don't go to all the symposiums and may not
    >be read on the proceedings from such. They're certainly not present in
    >standards committee meetings to know what's being discussed.

    Doesn't the legal dept. participate significantly in the framing of the
    claims of a patent application though... and then it's them who hustle it
    off to the PTO?

    >That's why I think the best *single* change would be the "review" period
    >I've suggested. To balance that "cost" it should be the "final" arbiter,
    >not a patent examiner that is over-worked and under-paid. Add to that a
    >stiff penalty for losing a challenge...

    I recall that round about the initial flurry of RMBS SDRAM patents, the
    USPTO was moving into some fancy new quarters, hiring people with a
    tech+law background and had announced a new policy of "expediency" in
    examination process, which kinda goes against the idea of "fairness" being
    the optimal result. I'm wondering where your final "arbiter" would come
    from? If from the practicing industry itself, isn't it going to awful
    difficult to find disinterested parties to make the decision?

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  25. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    timsullivan2003@yahoo.com (John Corse) wrote:

    >Completely wrong,

    What's completely wrong, John? Don't you know how to quote and
    respond, so that we know what you are talking about? Or is it that,
    like a top-poster, you just want to go on a rant without really
    addressing the previous points?
  26. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 04:37:41 -0500, Tony Hill
    <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:

    >On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 12:53:01 GMT, "Felger Carbon" <fmsfnf@jfoops.net>
    >wrote:
    >

    <snip>

    >>
    >>Reading between the lines, I sense that you feel that nobody should
    >>have to pay royalties in order to make parts. Am I wrong on this?
    >
    >Not at all, just that people shouldn't have to pay royalties to a
    >company for something that company did little to no work at inventing
    >but just happened to have worked the patent system to their advantage.
    >I mean honestly, paying x dollars per chip for a friggin' counter?!?
    >
    >I see no problem at all in Rambus collecting royalties on their RDRAM
    >or XDR memory since it's clear that they did real and viable work to
    >develop those technologies. However their patents on SDRAM and now
    >DDR/DDR2 are much less meaningful.
    >
    >>An IP company (e.g. Rambus) would be derelict _not_ to take maximum
    >>advantage of patent legalities, since that's the only way it can make
    >>money, and the company's officers are legally required to work in
    >>their stockholders' interest, not in the larger interest of society.
    >>Corporations are not charities.
    >
    >Very true, which is why I see the primary problem here being those
    >very patent legalities. There's no way that Rambus should have been
    >able to get patents on most of what they were given patents to. The
    >technology was very obvious and in widespread use when most of these
    >patents were granted, it's only due to the web of divisions,
    >continuations, extensions and abandonment's that they were able to get
    >those patents.
    >

    It's fairly easy for technical people to imagine that the lawyers
    don't really grasp the technical issues at stake, and the technical
    people are probably right most of the time.

    Have you thought about it the other way around, though? That is to
    say, you could go on and on about the technical issues, but how well
    do you think you really understand the legal issues?

    The one patent case I followed through in detail was was heard en banc
    by the federal circuit court of appeals (the full appellate court
    heard the case, not just a three-judge panel). The issues at stake
    remind me somewhat of the Rambus case: the patent holder filed a
    patent on a process for which there was significant and obvious prior
    art. The patent claimant made a distinction in the patent that was
    recognized and upheld by the appellate court.

    Not only that, but the patent claimant made broad claims that allowed
    them to assert that a process that bore no resemblance to there patent
    was infringing by the principal of equivalence. Those broad claims
    were upheld as well. The lawyers got rich.

    I remember the arguments made repeatedly by those involved with the
    defense: there was prior art, and, in any case, their process was
    different. It all sounded right to an engineer. Not to the lawyers,
    though.

    Everyday notions of reasonableness just don't cut it in the IP
    business. Either you manage to stake your claim and successfully
    defend it, or you don't.

    As to this principal of equivalence, which is an issue in the Rambus
    case, what is it that allows one drug company to put a different side
    chain on the same aromatic ring and patent a new drug? I have no
    idea, and I'm really clear that I don't understand patent law.

    RM
  27. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    Your poor reading comprehension is almost as bad as your ignorance of
    the facts of this case. Clearly my post relates to the facts of the
    case and says nothing about equitable estoppel.
  28. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 13:00:59 -0500, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
    wrote:

    >On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 04:37:41 -0500, Tony Hill
    ><hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    >
    >>On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 12:53:01 GMT, "Felger Carbon" <fmsfnf@jfoops.net>
    >>wrote:
    >>
    >
    ><snip>
    >
    >>>
    >>>Reading between the lines, I sense that you feel that nobody should
    >>>have to pay royalties in order to make parts. Am I wrong on this?
    >>
    >>Not at all, just that people shouldn't have to pay royalties to a
    >>company for something that company did little to no work at inventing
    >>but just happened to have worked the patent system to their advantage.
    >>I mean honestly, paying x dollars per chip for a friggin' counter?!?
    >>
    >>I see no problem at all in Rambus collecting royalties on their RDRAM
    >>or XDR memory since it's clear that they did real and viable work to
    >>develop those technologies. However their patents on SDRAM and now
    >>DDR/DDR2 are much less meaningful.
    >>
    >>>An IP company (e.g. Rambus) would be derelict _not_ to take maximum
    >>>advantage of patent legalities, since that's the only way it can make
    >>>money, and the company's officers are legally required to work in
    >>>their stockholders' interest, not in the larger interest of society.
    >>>Corporations are not charities.
    >>
    >>Very true, which is why I see the primary problem here being those
    >>very patent legalities. There's no way that Rambus should have been
    >>able to get patents on most of what they were given patents to. The
    >>technology was very obvious and in widespread use when most of these
    >>patents were granted, it's only due to the web of divisions,
    >>continuations, extensions and abandonment's that they were able to get
    >>those patents.
    >>
    >
    >It's fairly easy for technical people to imagine that the lawyers
    >don't really grasp the technical issues at stake, and the technical
    >people are probably right most of the time.
    >
    >Have you thought about it the other way around, though? That is to
    >say, you could go on and on about the technical issues, but how well
    >do you think you really understand the legal issues?
    >
    >The one patent case I followed through in detail was was heard en banc
    >by the federal circuit court of appeals (the full appellate court
    >heard the case, not just a three-judge panel). The issues at stake
    >remind me somewhat of the Rambus case: the patent holder filed a
    >patent on a process for which there was significant and obvious prior
    >art. The patent claimant made a distinction in the patent that was
    >recognized and upheld by the appellate court.
    >
    >Not only that, but the patent claimant made broad claims that allowed
    >them to assert that a process that bore no resemblance to there patent
    >was infringing by the principal of equivalence. Those broad claims
    >were upheld as well. The lawyers got rich.

    We're not assuming in our disgust for RMBS that lawyers are not licensed
    racketeers.:-) This glaring example might be a good starting point for
    fixing that system -- it would appear to be fixable, or am I being naive?
    -- before they own us all.

    >I remember the arguments made repeatedly by those involved with the
    >defense: there was prior art, and, in any case, their process was
    >different. It all sounded right to an engineer. Not to the lawyers,
    >though.
    >
    >Everyday notions of reasonableness just don't cut it in the IP
    >business. Either you manage to stake your claim and successfully
    >defend it, or you don't.
    >
    >As to this principal of equivalence, which is an issue in the Rambus
    >case, what is it that allows one drug company to put a different side
    >chain on the same aromatic ring and patent a new drug? I have no
    >idea, and I'm really clear that I don't understand patent law.

    Well the medical industry is pretty much a buncha licensed drug dealers
    but....

    It's not so much the chemical compound they have a patent on - some of
    them, or very close analogues, are found in nature after all. The
    synthesis of most modern drugs involves a complex series of reaction steps
    -- twenty steps is not unusual -- each of which could be "original" and can
    require considerable tweaking to get useful yield.

    On that subject, the Lipitor case is an example of one where things might
    get "fixed": http://www.pubpat.org/index.html so things are not completely
    hopeless. Slightly more on topic, the same guys got the M$ FAT patents
    thrown out... is there a glimmer of hope here?:-)

    You might also wonder how California managed to pass "emissions
    regulations" which basically imposed a recipe for gasoline on the petroleum
    business and a certain California-based petroleum company just somehow came
    up with patented process designs for making the ingredients which satisfied
    the regulations.<shrug>

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  29. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 16:37:32 -0500, George Macdonald
    <fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:

    >On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 13:00:59 -0500, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
    >wrote:
    >

    <snip>

    >>
    >>The one patent case I followed through in detail was was heard en banc
    >>by the federal circuit court of appeals (the full appellate court
    >>heard the case, not just a three-judge panel). The issues at stake
    >>remind me somewhat of the Rambus case: the patent holder filed a
    >>patent on a process for which there was significant and obvious prior
    >>art. The patent claimant made a distinction in the patent that was
    >>recognized and upheld by the appellate court.
    >>
    >>Not only that, but the patent claimant made broad claims that allowed
    >>them to assert that a process that bore no resemblance to there patent
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Grrrrrrr.....their
    >>was infringing by the principal of equivalence. Those broad claims
    >>were upheld as well. The lawyers got rich.
    >
    >We're not assuming in our disgust for RMBS that lawyers are not licensed
    >racketeers.:-) This glaring example might be a good starting point for
    >fixing that system -- it would appear to be fixable, or am I being naive?
    >-- before they own us all.
    >

    That case is almost ten years dead now. Unless the malpractice claim
    they were going to file against their *first* set of patent lawyers
    (one of the most presitigious patent law firms in the US) is still
    going.

    <snip>

    >>
    >>As to this principal of equivalence, which is an issue in the Rambus
    >>case, what is it that allows one drug company to put a different side
    >>chain on the same aromatic ring and patent a new drug? I have no
    >>idea, and I'm really clear that I don't understand patent law.
    >
    >Well the medical industry is pretty much a buncha licensed drug dealers
    >but....
    >
    >It's not so much the chemical compound they have a patent on - some of
    >them, or very close analogues, are found in nature after all. The
    >synthesis of most modern drugs involves a complex series of reaction steps
    >-- twenty steps is not unusual -- each of which could be "original" and can
    >require considerable tweaking to get useful yield.
    >
    >On that subject, the Lipitor case is an example of one where things might
    >get "fixed": http://www.pubpat.org/index.html so things are not completely
    >hopeless. Slightly more on topic, the same guys got the M$ FAT patents
    >thrown out... is there a glimmer of hope here?:-)
    >

    If you had a look at a real estate map of Boston and Cambridge and had
    any interest in the health of the science and technology sector, you
    might have mixed feelings about drug patents, or at least you might
    understand why predatory patents are tolerated. Predatory patents =
    capital formation.

    There is a real estate boom going on here. The money is coming from
    outrageous prices for drugs, medical devices, and medical
    procedures...and there is real concern in the biotech sector that the
    flow of capital will dry up unless investors start seeing better
    returns. I don't have any clever answers.

    >You might also wonder how California managed to pass "emissions
    >regulations" which basically imposed a recipe for gasoline on the petroleum
    >business and a certain California-based petroleum company just somehow came
    >up with patented process designs for making the ingredients which satisfied
    >the regulations.<shrug>

    It's called "campaign contributions," otherwise known as bribes.

    RM
  30. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    timsullivan2003@yahoo.com wrote:
    > Basically what Rambus was accused of is fraud by omission/
    > silence, in that members of JEDEC claimed Rambus was required
    > to disclose by virtue of just being a member of JEDEC.

    Please look up the doctrine of equitable estoppel. It most
    certainly does include fraud by silence. Also note it is
    a defense, and higher burdens are required to win damages.

    -- Robert
  31. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 10:41:58 -0500, Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz>
    wrote:

    >The pencil existed and the eraser existed. The function of either
    >didn't change when they were combined into one unit, thus combining
    >them was deemed to be "obvious to one skilled in the art" and thus not
    >patentable.

    If it was obvious to one skilled in the art, then why didn't anybody
    make them before that? It would seem to me that if somebody combined
    two existing items into a new item that is an improvement on the
    older, then it should be patentable if nobody else did it.

    >The phrase is "obvious to one skilled in the art". It is not
    >"obvious" if one sees it and then says "man that's so obvious, I wish
    >I'd thought of it". "Obvious" has a legal definition and isn't at all
    >straight-forward. ...which is only part of the problem.

    So how is this "obvious" defined? After all, I'm sure that if I
    spotted something with big money making potential, say a new way of
    networking, and patents it.

    But, due to popular preconceptions and such, none of the big corps
    ever thought in that direction so none of them ever designed or made
    anything of that sort. Yet I'm pretty sure they are not going to tell
    the patent judge "Yeah, it's so obvious we wished we thought of it."

    They are all likely to say things to the effect of "Yeah, it's an
    obvious thing because we already have A, B and C which is what this
    new E evolved from even though all along we only thought of D." before
    quickly running off to produce commercial products based on this
    "obvious" innovation.

    After all, it's always easier to cook up a story to explain the past.

    Hence I believe the only objective test of "obviousness" should be in
    the doing. Only if at least a few (if only 2 people in the world can
    think of it, it ain't obvious :P ) people skilled in the art
    independently produced/designed it before, then it would be obvious.
    Otherwise, no.

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
  32. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 18:31:44 -0500, Robert Myers <rmyers1400@comcast.net>
    wrote:

    >On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 16:37:32 -0500, George Macdonald
    ><fammacd=!SPAM^nothanks@tellurian.com> wrote:

    >>It's not so much the chemical compound they have a patent on - some of
    >>them, or very close analogues, are found in nature after all. The
    >>synthesis of most modern drugs involves a complex series of reaction steps
    >>-- twenty steps is not unusual -- each of which could be "original" and can
    >>require considerable tweaking to get useful yield.
    >>
    >>On that subject, the Lipitor case is an example of one where things might
    >>get "fixed": http://www.pubpat.org/index.html so things are not completely
    >>hopeless. Slightly more on topic, the same guys got the M$ FAT patents
    >>thrown out... is there a glimmer of hope here?:-)
    >>
    >
    >If you had a look at a real estate map of Boston and Cambridge and had
    >any interest in the health of the science and technology sector, you
    >might have mixed feelings about drug patents, or at least you might
    >understand why predatory patents are tolerated. Predatory patents =
    >capital formation.

    Oh I hope I didn't give the impression I was defending them as a group -
    the abuses are in the majority - I was just giving an example of what might
    be a reasonable err, excuse, for the quasi-honest ones.

    >There is a real estate boom going on here. The money is coming from
    >outrageous prices for drugs, medical devices, and medical
    >procedures...and there is real concern in the biotech sector that the
    >flow of capital will dry up unless investors start seeing better
    >returns. I don't have any clever answers.

    And of course the insurance companies just cough up the dough because their
    business is measured by how much money passes through their hands. Doesn't
    anybody realize that the well *will* run dry?

    --
    Rgds, George Macdonald
  33. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Tue, 01 Feb 2005 13:00:59 -0500, Robert Myers
    <rmyers1400@comcast.net> wrote:

    >It's fairly easy for technical people to imagine that the lawyers
    >don't really grasp the technical issues at stake, and the technical
    >people are probably right most of the time.
    >
    >Have you thought about it the other way around, though? That is to
    >say, you could go on and on about the technical issues, but how well
    >do you think you really understand the legal issues?
    >
    >The one patent case I followed through in detail was was heard en banc
    >by the federal circuit court of appeals (the full appellate court
    >heard the case, not just a three-judge panel). The issues at stake
    >remind me somewhat of the Rambus case: the patent holder filed a
    >patent on a process for which there was significant and obvious prior
    >art. The patent claimant made a distinction in the patent that was
    >recognized and upheld by the appellate court.
    >
    >Not only that, but the patent claimant made broad claims that allowed
    >them to assert that a process that bore no resemblance to there patent
    >was infringing by the principal of equivalence. Those broad claims
    >were upheld as well. The lawyers got rich.
    >
    >I remember the arguments made repeatedly by those involved with the
    >defense: there was prior art, and, in any case, their process was
    >different. It all sounded right to an engineer. Not to the lawyers,
    >though.

    Perhaps I am approaching this with the bias of an engineer, but really
    I just think the above example proves the problem.

    The whole idea of the law is to determine right from wrong. But if,
    as seems to be the case above, everyone who understands the issues
    involved here says that one side is right but the law finds them wrong
    and the other side right, then to me that suggests that the law is
    broken. Just because one lawyer can prove to another lawyer that a
    their client is correct based on a broken law, that doesn't mean that
    the law isn't broken.

    >Everyday notions of reasonableness just don't cut it in the IP
    >business. Either you manage to stake your claim and successfully
    >defend it, or you don't.

    This is my very problem here, the fact that a reasonable concept of
    right vs. wrong doesn't cut it, it's all a matter of who is able to
    work the system to their own ends.

    >As to this principal of equivalence, which is an issue in the Rambus
    >case, what is it that allows one drug company to put a different side
    >chain on the same aromatic ring and patent a new drug? I have no
    >idea, and I'm really clear that I don't understand patent law.

    The drug industry is another one that is likely to end up exploding
    with all sorts of questionable patent lawsuits. Through it all, you
    and I are going to end up footing the bill to make a bunch of lawyers
    richer because of it.

    -------------
    Tony Hill
    hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
  34. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    > There was also the issue of Rambus's membership in an industrial
    > consortium called JEDEC which set all of the standards for everything

    > from EDO RAM to the current DDR2. One of the requirements of JEDEC
    > membership is that if you want to sit in on all of the secret
    meetings
    > of the standards body, you have to reveal all of your own patents,
    and
    > tell your co-members whether any of the work that the industry group
    is
    > working on infringe on any of your own patents and warn them about
    it.

    JEDEC meetings were not "secret" and indeed it would be against
    anti-trust law if a standards body tried to have "secret" meetings. The
    minutes of JEDEC meetings are publicly available, as obviously are the
    standards produced from JEDEC.

    > Rambus never revealed whether any of the work JEDEC was working on
    had
    > any infringement potential on their patents. It's been generally
    > speculated that the reason Rambus kept quiet during JEDEC meetings
    was
    > because they did want to charge royalties on the standards that
    > eventually came out, so it could make income from it.
    >

    And you think the DRAM makers thought that Rambus, an IP only company,
    would not try and charge for their IP? Surely even you are not that
    gullible even though some DRAM makers are claiming they were so
    ignorant.

    > An even less flattering speculation was that Rambus kept quiet
    because
    > it really had no patents that infringed anything JEDEC was working
    on,
    > but it wanted to sit in on the meetings anyways, so that it could
    modify
    > its very general patents to include material that was being worked on

    > inside JEDEC secretly.
    >
    > Yousuf Khan

    Since your premise that JEDEC meetings were "secret" is completely
    wrong, it is not hard to see how you reach such a ridiculous
    conclusion. Rambus could have easily modified it's patents to cover the
    SDRAM and DDR standards even if it were not a member of JEDEC as the
    minutes of the meetings and the standards are public information. Note
    that Rambus is now sueing DRAM makers for DDR2 a standard that was set
    long after Rambus left JEDEC.
  35. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Wed, 02 Feb 2005 06:45:55 +0000, The little lost angel wrote:

    > On Mon, 31 Jan 2005 10:41:58 -0500, Keith R. Williams <krw@att.bizzzz>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>The pencil existed and the eraser existed. The function of either
    >>didn't change when they were combined into one unit, thus combining
    >>them was deemed to be "obvious to one skilled in the art" and thus not
    >>patentable.
    >
    > If it was obvious to one skilled in the art, then why didn't anybody
    > make them before that?

    That is indeed the crux of the "obvious" question. The fact is that
    combining this "known art" didn't add any new function. Thus it was
    deemed to be not worth a government granted monopoly.

    > It would seem to me that if somebody combined
    > two existing items into a new item that is an improvement on the older,
    > then it should be patentable if nobody else did it.

    If it does something new, perhaps. In this case it was decided that the
    eraser+pencil was just that. No new function = no innovation, thus no
    patent.

    >>The phrase is "obvious to one skilled in the art". It is not "obvious"
    >>if one sees it and then says "man that's so obvious, I wish I'd thought
    >>of it". "Obvious" has a legal definition and isn't at all
    >>straight-forward. ...which is only part of the problem.
    >
    > So how is this "obvious" defined? After all, I'm sure that if I spotted
    > something with big money making potential, say a new way of networking,
    > and patents it.

    Is it novel? That's the *big* issue. If it's not, then you haven't a
    chance. If it is...

    > But, due to popular preconceptions and such, none of the big corps ever
    > thought in that direction so none of them ever designed or made anything
    > of that sort. Yet I'm pretty sure they are not going to tell the patent
    > judge "Yeah, it's so obvious we wished we thought of it."

    That's a flaw in the system. Though you can likely get a patent, you may
    play hell enforcing it. OTOH, a Mr. Gould invented this little widget
    called a LASER. His invention was pretty much ignored for decades until
    the courts finally awarded it to him. Those that didn't buy a license
    before (to help pay for his patent defense) were *screwed*. It's an
    interesting case!

    > They are all likely to say things to the effect of "Yeah, it's an
    > obvious thing because we already have A, B and C which is what this new
    > E evolved from even though all along we only thought of D." before
    > quickly running off to produce commercial products based on this
    > "obvious" innovation.

    That will certainly be their defense. OTOH, a jury trial often goes to
    the little guy. All he has to do is show that the big baddie is picking
    on him "unfairly".

    > After all, it's always easier to cook up a story to explain the past.

    It seems you're getting into the Rambus way of thinking!

    > Hence I believe the only objective test of "obviousness" should be in
    > the doing. Only if at least a few (if only 2 people in the world can
    > think of it, it ain't obvious :P ) people skilled in the art
    > independently produced/designed it before, then it would be obvious.
    > Otherwise, no.

    Often the invention doesn't come until the need presents itself. Does
    that mean the one who thinks up a solution to "world peace" cannot be
    rewarded? "Aw, *hell*, all we have to do is stop shooting and we'll all
    live hapily ever after!" Pretty obvious, eh?

    --
    Keith
  36. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    On Mon, 07 Feb 2005 21:27:32 -0500, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:

    >> If it was obvious to one skilled in the art, then why didn't anybody
    >> make them before that?
    >
    >That is indeed the crux of the "obvious" question. The fact is that
    >combining this "known art" didn't add any new function. Thus it was
    >deemed to be not worth a government granted monopoly.

    Isn't that a bit silly? Why should Cell be patentable then? Prcessors
    already exist, vector/scalar processors already exist, multi-core
    processor already exist, parallel computing already exists,
    distributed computing already exists, wireless networks already exist.
    It's basically integrating existing technology in a new way, is it
    not?


    >If it does something new, perhaps. In this case it was decided that the
    >eraser+pencil was just that. No new function = no innovation, thus no
    >patent.

    Ditto for Cell so why the patent? We could take a couple of multi-core
    processors link them to a cople of vector cpu on a board with built-in
    wireless links and use a scalable version of linux to achieve the same
    functions, no?

    >Is it novel? That's the *big* issue. If it's not, then you haven't a
    >chance. If it is...

    Again what defines novel? If nobody did it before, isn't it then new
    and original?

    >That will certainly be their defense. OTOH, a jury trial often goes to
    >the little guy. All he has to do is show that the big baddie is picking
    >on him "unfairly".

    Hmm... sounds like if I ever have to file a patent, I should do it in
    the US. We don't have juries here and I wouldn't trust my legal system
    against big corps with money.

    >> After all, it's always easier to cook up a story to explain the past.
    >It seems you're getting into the Rambus way of thinking!

    I might not agree with what they did, but I'm not blind to how it's
    done and how this tactic can be used against me if I ever file a
    patent :pPPpp

    >Often the invention doesn't come until the need presents itself. Does
    >that mean the one who thinks up a solution to "world peace" cannot be
    >rewarded? "Aw, *hell*, all we have to do is stop shooting and we'll all
    >live hapily ever after!" Pretty obvious, eh?

    But nobody has ever done it before which is my point. It might be
    obvious for some reason, but if nobody has done it, it means that
    there's a crucial innovative step that's not that obvious after all.
    It is like we have A and everybody knows to get to D, we have to do C,
    but nobody's figured out how to do B yet. If he can do it, I say give
    him the patent and Nobel prize or otherwise the Oscar ;)

    Actually, I do have Step B for world peace. Except once Step B is
    executed, there won't be anybody left to award the patent :P

    --
    L.Angel: I'm looking for web design work.
    If you need basic to med complexity webpages at affordable rates, email me :)
    Standard HTML, SHTML, MySQL + PHP or ASP, Javascript.
    If you really want, FrontPage & DreamWeaver too.
    But keep in mind you pay extra bandwidth for their bloated code
  37. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips (More info?)

    In article <420aef36.313521125@news.singnet.com.sg>, a?n?g?e?
    l@lovergirl.lrigrevol.moc.com says...
    > On Mon, 07 Feb 2005 21:27:32 -0500, keith <krw@att.bizzzz> wrote:
    >
    > >> If it was obvious to one skilled in the art, then why didn't anybody
    > >> make them before that?
    > >
    > >That is indeed the crux of the "obvious" question. The fact is that
    > >combining this "known art" didn't add any new function. Thus it was
    > >deemed to be not worth a government granted monopoly.
    >
    > Isn't that a bit silly? Why should Cell be patentable then? Prcessors
    > already exist, vector/scalar processors already exist, multi-core
    > processor already exist, parallel computing already exists,
    > distributed computing already exists, wireless networks already exist.
    > It's basically integrating existing technology in a new way, is it
    > not?

    You have to look at what is being taught and what is claimed. If there
    is no new teaching, there is no reason to grant the patent monopoly. As
    yourself what in cell is being patented? Certainly not the fact that
    one can glue co-processors together. There are likely a thousand
    patents in there, but that ain't one (or shouldn't be, dunno I haven't
    read the cell patents).

    > >If it does something new, perhaps. In this case it was decided that the
    > >eraser+pencil was just that. No new function = no innovation, thus no
    > >patent.
    >
    > Ditto for Cell so why the patent? We could take a couple of multi-core
    > processors link them to a cople of vector cpu on a board with built-in
    > wireless links and use a scalable version of linux to achieve the same
    > functions, no?

    Have you read the patents? Have a list that I can comment on?

    > >Is it novel? That's the *big* issue. If it's not, then you haven't a
    > >chance. If it is...
    >
    > Again what defines novel? If nobody did it before, isn't it then new
    > and original?

    It's novel if no one has done it before. Novelty is a requirement for
    a patent, but it's certainly not the only one.

    > >That will certainly be their defense. OTOH, a jury trial often goes to
    > >the little guy. All he has to do is show that the big baddie is picking
    > >on him "unfairly".
    >
    > Hmm... sounds like if I ever have to file a patent, I should do it in
    > the US. We don't have juries here and I wouldn't trust my legal system
    > against big corps with money.

    The patent would "only" be valid in the US then. ;-) It's very easy
    for an individual to sue a "big-bad" corporation here.

    > >> After all, it's always easier to cook up a story to explain the past.
    > >It seems you're getting into the Rambus way of thinking!
    >
    > I might not agree with what they did, but I'm not blind to how it's
    > done and how this tactic can be used against me if I ever file a
    > patent :pPPpp

    Sure. No one said the process isn't broken. I'm rather skeptical that
    the proposed "cures" I see here wouldn't be worse than the disease.

    > >Often the invention doesn't come until the need presents itself. Does
    > >that mean the one who thinks up a solution to "world peace" cannot be
    > >rewarded? "Aw, *hell*, all we have to do is stop shooting and we'll all
    > >live hapily ever after!" Pretty obvious, eh?
    >
    > But nobody has ever done it before which is my point. It might be
    > obvious for some reason, but if nobody has done it, it means that
    > there's a crucial innovative step that's not that obvious after all.
    > It is like we have A and everybody knows to get to D, we have to do C,
    > but nobody's figured out how to do B yet. If he can do it, I say give
    > him the patent and Nobel prize or otherwise the Oscar ;)

    Sure. He's awarded a patent for doing B, but not D. If someone else
    figures out a way to do B' he can also do D because he's not infringing
    on the B patent.
    >
    > Actually, I do have Step B for world peace. Except once Step B is
    > executed, there won't be anybody left to award the patent :P

    MAD averted WW-III, so there's prior art for your invention. ;-)

    --
    Keith
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