Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

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

Last response: in CPUs
Share
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 6:50:24 AM

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?
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 6:50:25 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 10:22:57 AM

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
Related resources
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 3:53:01 PM

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.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 3:53:02 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 8:22:35 PM

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 ... :p pPp
--
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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 9:31:54 PM

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.
January 30, 2005 9:31:55 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2005 9:31:55 PM

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
January 31, 2005 1:16:55 AM

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.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 3:53:28 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 6:36:04 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 6:36:05 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 6:56:51 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 6:56:52 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 9:41:53 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 9:55:57 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 9:55:58 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 10:01:17 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 10:01:18 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
January 31, 2005 11:03:41 PM

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/d9302/040223initialdecisio... (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.
February 1, 2005 12:27:44 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 7:37:41 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 7:37:41 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 9:23:52 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 12:10:11 PM

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?
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 4:00:59 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 4:06:45 PM

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.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 7:37:32 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 9:31:44 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 1, 2005 10:30:17 PM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2005 9:45:55 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 2, 2005 11:00:36 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 3, 2005 4:03:05 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 6, 2005 5:39:53 PM

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.
February 8, 2005 12:27:32 AM

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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 10, 2005 8:40:55 AM

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 :p PPpp

>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
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
February 10, 2005 12:08:00 PM

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 :p PPpp

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
!