Tuesday, July 27th 2010

ITC Issues Notice of Final Determination in Rambus Matter Regarding NVIDIA Products

Rambus Inc., one of the world’s premier technology licensing companies, today announced that the International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its notice of final determination in the action brought by Rambus against NVIDIA Corporation and other Respondents. In its notice, the ITC has affirmed the findings of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), with certain modifications. The final determination, including such modifications, has yet to be released.

On November 6, 2008, Rambus filed a complaint with the ITC requesting an investigation pertaining to certain NVIDIA products. The complaint sought an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of products that infringe nine of Rambus’ patents. The accused products include graphics processors, application processors, media and communications processors, and chip sets which incorporate infringing memory controllers. The complaint named NVIDIA as a proposed Respondent, as well as companies whose products incorporate the accused NVIDIA products and are imported into the United States. These Respondents include: Asustek Computer Inc. and Asus Computer International, BFG Technologies, Biostar Microtech and Biostar Microtech International Corp., Diablotek Inc., EVGA Corp., G.B.T. Inc. and Giga-Byte Technology Co., Hewlett-Packard, MSI Computer Corp. and Micro-Star International Co., Palit Multimedia Inc. and Palit Microsystems Ltd., Pine Technology (Macao Commercial Offshore) Ltd., and Sparkle Computer Co. Four of the asserted patents were later withdrawn from the investigation.

An evidentiary hearing on the asserted patents was held before the ALJ on October 13-20, 2009. On January 22, 2010, the ALJ issued an initial determination finding two Rambus patents to be not valid. The ALJ further determined three Rambus (Barth) patents valid, enforceable and infringed by the Respondents.

Today, Rambus received notice of the ITC’s intent to issue a Limited Exclusion Order barring the importation of Respondents’ infringing products into the United States, as well as Cease and Desist Orders barring identified Respondents from selling any infringing products that were previously imported into the United States. Under the Limited Exclusion Order, the infringing products may be imported and sold during a 60-day Presidential review period if Respondents post a bond. The Commission has specified that the bond amount is 2.65% of the entered value of the subject imports.

"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. "We are extremely pleased with the ITC's decision to issue a Limited Exclusion Order, signaling the strength of our innovation efforts beyond the Farmwald-Horowitz patents of our founders. The value of our patented inventions has been recognized by our current licensees, and we will continue our efforts to license others."

Rambus management will discuss this decision during a special conference call tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. PT. The call will be webcast and can be accessed through the Rambus website. A replay will be available following the call on Rambus’ Investor Relations website or for one week at the following numbers: (800) 642-1687(domestic) or (706) 645-9291(international) with ID# 90764352.
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33 Comments on ITC Issues Notice of Final Determination in Rambus Matter Regarding NVIDIA Products

#1
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
In short, Rambus won, ITC is going to block import of NVIDIA products into the USA, matter is under review by Barack Obama. It doesn't look like Rambus is interested in an out of court settlement.
Posted on Reply
#3
erocker
This is madness. Also confusing not knowing the intricacies of what copyrights were actually breached. What does Rambus have to gain by blocking the sale of Nvidia products and not settling out of court? Unless of course they have been trying to make a deal and it's just not getting anywhere. Either way, crazy stuff!
Posted on Reply
#4
slyfox2151
wait, there trying to block nvidia products in the USA?

does that include all products or just certain ones?.... this would give a Massive boost to AMD if nvidia could not sell there video cards in the USA....




also, how does this invole Obama? is this so important that the president has to be involved?

im confused :P
Posted on Reply
#5
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: slyfox2151
how does this invole Obama? is this so important that the president has to be involved?
Presidential Review is a last resort. Kind of like clemency in death-row. Just as a guy on a death row can stay alive while his clemency petition is with the governor/president, NVIDIA can import infringing products in the 60-day period, with a bond of 2.65% of the value of the imported infringing products.
Posted on Reply
#6
slyfox2151
so if this goes ahead and its ruled in favor of Rambus, it would stop Nvidia from selling any products in the USA? ( or witch products exacly? )
Posted on Reply
#7
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: slyfox2151
so if this goes ahead and its ruled in favor of Rambus, it would stop Nvidia from selling any products in the USA? ( or witch products exacly? )
Not "any", but "infringing products". I don't know exactly what comes under "infringing products" as of now.
Posted on Reply
#8
Mussels
Moderprator
by: btarunr
In short, Rambus won, ITC is going to block import of NVIDIA products into the USA, matter is under review by Barack Obama. It doesn't look like Rambus is interested in an out of court settlement.
holy shiznit

and yeah we dont know which ones, but odds are it would be older products. at a guess, it could be something like the IGP models, or cards that use specific memory controllers (be it DDR2, 3 or 5 specifically)
Posted on Reply
#9
WhiteLotus
Damn, would this result effect NVIDIA selling into the EU market as well, if not why the hell not?

If this goes through then it's going to be very interesting for them.
Posted on Reply
#10
Mussels
Moderprator
by: WhiteLotus
Damn, would this result effect NVIDIA selling into the EU market as well, if not why the hell not?

If this goes through then it's going to be very interesting for them.
i expect sudden price drops for Nv products outisde of the USA as they dump the bad products :P
Posted on Reply
#11
WhiteLotus
So might get lucky and be able to snag one of these "bad" products for cheap. :D
Posted on Reply
#12
Mussels
Moderprator
by: WhiteLotus
So might get lucky and be able to snag one of these "bad" products for cheap. :D
depends what they are. for all we know, its only turbocache products like the GF 6200
Posted on Reply
#13
amschip
Folks
i wouldn't be worried about this issue if it concerns older products. It only bans import of those. If suppliers in states have a healthy supply they will be still able to sell them.
The whole diffrent story is if that claim covers some new products as well like fermi then they that might as well be a downfall for them and material for another hitler spoof :)
Posted on Reply
#14
Mussels
Moderprator
by: amschip
Folks
i wouldn't be worried about this issue if it concerns older products. It only bans import of those. If suppliers in states have a healthy supply they will be still able to sell them.
The whole diffrent story is if that claim covers some new products as well like fermi then they that might as well be a downfall for them and material for another hitler spoof :)
you umm, didnt read it all.
Today, Rambus received notice of the ITC’s intent to issue a Limited Exclusion Order barring the importation of Respondents’ infringing products into the United States, as well as Cease and Desist Orders barring identified Respondents from selling any infringing products that were previously imported into the United States.
Posted on Reply
#15
W1zzard
the memory controllers in questions are everything up to including gddr3

nothing about gddr5 memory controller but that might be only because it was not released at the time of the filing
Posted on Reply
#17
the54thvoid
Sure i read somewhere that Rambus aren't all the innocent one on this. These cases are rarely black and white.

Like Intels spat with NV over x86 development (or something like that).

Corporate twats. :nutkick:
Posted on Reply
#18
amschip
by: Mussels
you umm, didnt read it all.
You're right... my bad
But still second part of the post still stands :) especially since as w1zzard mentioned it includes ddr3 controllers.
My prediction:
panic - stock price fall to 5$
nvidia goes into settlement
buy as hell
Reap the profit
Posted on Reply
#19
tkpenalty
What rambus in its history has been doing could be considered guerilla warfare with patents instead of guns. Nvidia has been pretty much 'ambushed' by Rambus in the sense that they could have taken legal action earlier...

typical abuse of the legal system...
Posted on Reply
#20
copenhagen69
maybe thats why the fermis were so hot ... trying to burn up the evidence :P :roll:


:toast:
Posted on Reply
#21
Mussels
Moderprator
by: tkpenalty
What rambus in its history has been doing could be considered guerilla warfare with patents instead of guns. Nvidia has been pretty much 'ambushed' by Rambus in the sense that they could have taken legal action earlier...

typical abuse of the legal system...
*ahem*

rambushed

sounds like something scooby doo would say... lol
Posted on Reply
#23
erocker
by: tkpenalty
What rambus in its history has been doing could be considered guerilla warfare with patents instead of guns. Nvidia has been pretty much 'ambushed' by Rambus in the sense that they could have taken legal action earlier...

typical abuse of the legal system...
Well, if Nvidia was using their patents and not paying a licesning fee, they deserve what they get. Nvidia charges others for licesning, they should know how the game works.
Posted on Reply
#24
WarEagleAU
Bird of Prey
Rambus is just crazy. I think they are mad because DDR took away their memory buffness back in the day. OK I am joking, but this is just plain stupid.

On another note, Obama (as socialist do) have to get his hands on everything, LOL. OK bad joke, sorry. Hopefully this will not stop Nvidia from selling in the USA if Obama says that they can.
Posted on Reply
#25
DannibusX
Hmm, bad move on nVidia's part. I generally hate lawsuits, but if they were using technology that wasn't licensed properly then they should be forced to pay.

Now, with all the manufacturers listed, is it just a blanket suit because they make cards for nVidia, do they have to license the technology individually or does nVidia have to do that for them? Another thought, is this a partial reason why XFX stopped manufacturing for nVidia?
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