Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Rambus Wins Brutal Patent Fight Against Nvidia

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 52 comments

Patent fights are a Rambus specialty.

Earlier this year, the U.S. International Trade Commission ruled that Nvidia violated three of five patents held by Rambus which could lead to a possible U.S. ban on the import of some Nvidia products.

At that time, Nvidia was waiting for a decision from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office later this year on whether or not Rambus has full claim to some of the patents involved in the current dispute with Nvidia.

Just yesterday the U.S. ITC in Washington ruled that Nvidia chips did infringe on three Rambus patents and issued an order to ban the import of such chips. Through an agreement with the European Union, however, Nvidia can still sell the chips at a pre-agreed upon rate. By paying the rate in accordance to the European Commission, Nvidia sidesteps the ITC order that blocks the company from selling its product.

Nvidia said in a statement: "This mixed ruling, which rules in favor of Rambus on three patents and in favor of NVIDIA on two, affirms the administrative law judge's previous decision. There will be no impact on our customers, or our business, as a result of this ruling.  We intend to take advantage of the mandatory European Commission License that is available. This will allow us and our partners to continue our business under the terms of that license and prevent the enforcement of any exclusion order.  In the meantime, we intend to appeal the case to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and continue to press our arguments on these patents before the USPTO."

The ban order by the ITC is also subject to review by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Rambus was pleased with the decision. "The ITC's decision is another demonstration of the value of our continued commitment to innovation," said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.

According to Bloomberg, Rambus got about 96 percent of its $113 million in revenue last year from patent licensing royalties.

The ITC case also named Nvidia partner OEMs, including HP for its computers and Asus for its motherboards. The case ordered the parties to post a bond of 2.65 percent of the value of the products that companies wish to import.

Check out some of the official documents below, if you're interested.

Discuss
Display all 52 comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 34 Hide
    pozaks , July 27, 2010 9:46 PM
    A patent troll.
  • 30 Hide
    tethoma , July 27, 2010 9:45 PM
    Every old tech geek knows that Rambus was proprietary memory that costs twice as much as equivalent memory, and it was abolished from ALL PC's by 2003.

    Who the hell is Rambus now?
  • 25 Hide
    danlw , July 27, 2010 10:02 PM
    96% revenue from patent licensing royalties? Definitely a patent warehouse and not much of anything else. They earn a spot on my list of most disliked companies, along with Monster Cable, Bose, Comcast, and Apple.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , July 27, 2010 9:41 PM
    The other 4%? PS3's.
  • 30 Hide
    tethoma , July 27, 2010 9:45 PM
    Every old tech geek knows that Rambus was proprietary memory that costs twice as much as equivalent memory, and it was abolished from ALL PC's by 2003.

    Who the hell is Rambus now?
  • 34 Hide
    pozaks , July 27, 2010 9:46 PM
    A patent troll.
  • 9 Hide
    jefe323 , July 27, 2010 9:46 PM
    got to love the patent trolls

    /sarcasm
  • 20 Hide
    Nightsilver , July 27, 2010 9:47 PM
    Seriously, Rambus? I didn't even know the company still existed. Bunch of scavengers.
  • 25 Hide
    danlw , July 27, 2010 10:02 PM
    96% revenue from patent licensing royalties? Definitely a patent warehouse and not much of anything else. They earn a spot on my list of most disliked companies, along with Monster Cable, Bose, Comcast, and Apple.
  • 20 Hide
    blurr91 , July 27, 2010 10:06 PM
    "According to Bloomberg, Rambus got about 96 percent of its $113 million in revenue last year from patent licensing royalties."

    Wow...a company that survives on suing others... Words fail me.
  • -2 Hide
    duckmanx88 , July 27, 2010 10:06 PM
    danlw96% revenue from patent licensing royalties? Definitely a patent warehouse and not much of anything else. They earn a spot on my list of most disliked companies, along with Monster Cable, Bose, Comcast, and Apple.


    if you're adding companies that have failed/ripped off consumers or have trolled you can add just about every other tech company on there. they've all done it at some point.
  • -3 Hide
    thedreadfather , July 27, 2010 10:24 PM
    Quote:
    "The ITC's decision is another demonstration of the value of our continued commitment to innovation," said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.

    Explain to me how blocking the sale of microchips helps innovation. It isn't like nVidia is stealing revenue from Rambus but rather Rambus stockpiling patents to cash in. What a tool.
  • 9 Hide
    wawa sxm , July 27, 2010 10:24 PM
    duckmanx88if you're adding companies that have failed/ripped off consumers or have trolled you can add just about every other tech company on there. they've all done it at some point.


    yes but rambus strategie is to file patents then sue with no intention to ever release a product
  • 12 Hide
    dogofwars , July 27, 2010 10:30 PM
    "Patent fights are a Rambus specialty." I am sure they have a patent for that too.
  • 2 Hide
    ta152h , July 27, 2010 10:36 PM
    Rambus does release memory technologies, like XDR. Don't forget, RDRAM killed DDR for the Pentium 4 when it was out. They have, and do still make products that can be useful.

    But, if I were the CEO of Rambus, I'd branch out and not only offer memory technologies, but legal services. They've got enough experience at it, and a pretty good track record.

    Putting chumps like NVIDIA in there with Rambus is like putting a goldfish in with a piranha. NVIDIA is good with the bluster, but they are completely overmatched going up against Rambus legally. Hell, outside of Microsoft and maybe Intel, everyone is.
  • 9 Hide
    jacobdrj , July 27, 2010 10:42 PM
    When I grow up, I want to be a RAMBUS...
  • 13 Hide
    figgus , July 27, 2010 10:50 PM
    Remember, kids, Rambus is the same company that sued all the memory manufacturers for infringing on their patents.

    Nevermind the fact that Rambus proposed all those patents be worked into the standard while they were on the JDEC committee, and that they hid the fact that they held those patents at the time.

    Pretty shady, imo. I can't believe they weren't fined out of existence for illegal practices...
  • 3 Hide
    HavoCnMe , July 27, 2010 10:59 PM
    Rambus should change their name to Ram-u: Hard w/Sandpaper
  • 9 Hide
    sykozis , July 27, 2010 11:03 PM
    Rambus was funded by Intel for the RDRAM R&D...
  • 11 Hide
    stm1185 , July 27, 2010 11:03 PM
    Rambus: We Sue People!

  • 4 Hide
    ravewulf , July 27, 2010 11:05 PM
    Quote:
    "The ITC's decision is another demonstration of the value of our continued commitment to innovation,"

    AKA making profits off of other companies' success instead of making your own successful product
  • 5 Hide
    alextheawesome , July 27, 2010 11:51 PM
    The wikipedia page for Rambus is hilarious.
Display more comments