Friday, November 7th 2008

Rambus Files Complaint Against NVIDIA

Rambus Inc., one of the world’s premier technology licensing companies specializing in high-speed memory architectures, today announced it has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) requesting the commencement of an investigation pertaining to NVIDIA products. The complaint seeks an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, or sale after importation of products that infringe nine Rambus patents from the Ware and Barth families of patents. The accused products include NVIDIA products that incorporate DDR, DDR2, DDR3, LPDDR, GDDR, GDDR2, and GDDR3 memory controllers, including graphics processors, and media and communications processors.

The complaint names NVIDIA as a proposed respondent, as well as companies whose products incorporate 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 Holdings, and Sparkle Computer Co.

“We believe this action is necessary given NVIDIA’s continued willful infringement of our patents,” said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus. “Rambus engineers and scientists have made tremendous contributions to the industry, and we need to protect our patented inventions on behalf of our shareholders and in fairness to our paying licensees.”

The ITC is expected to decide whether to initiate an investigation under this complaint within 30 days. In a separate action, Rambus filed a patent infringement suit against NVIDIA in July 2008. Additional information is available at http://investor.rambus.com in the Litigation Update section.Source: Rambus
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21 Comments on Rambus Files Complaint Against NVIDIA

#1
Disruptor4
so what exactly did NVIDIA do? I don't quite understand.
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#2
eidairaman1
sounds like Rambus is goin 6 feet under

i mean they shouldnt be attacking the companies that use NV parts when the board makers only know how to make the boards but not the Glue logic.

NV probably violated patents on mem controllers when Rambus had those designs first.
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#3
exodusprime1337
lol, man things aren't looking good for nvidia, first the chipsets, now this.... people must really dig to find this shit. i can just see their board meetings... well sales and revenue is down, lets just sue somebody for lots and lots of money to make it up... i mean i don't know much about it but that's my ignorant idea of what's goin on.
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#5
FudFighter
i will lulz if nvidia is pigheaded about it and ends up having to stop imports for even a limmited time.
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#6
pentastar111
Oh brother...here we go again with yet another lawsuit:shadedshu...I mean really, how long has nvidia been designing cards and NOW someone wants to sue them? Whatever!:wtf:...Rambus is just mad because nobody mainstreamed their "Rambus memory"...:nutkick:
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#7
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
I'm going to make a series of videos for people called "Lawyers Gone Wild".
Should sell like hotcakes!! :rockout:

Anyway, if Nvidia infringed on a patent that Rambus holds they should be called on the carpet for it, just like anyone else. While I do not necesssarily agree with the way the patent system in the US works, litigation is the only recourse a company has to protect their IP.
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#8
DarkMatter
IMO The patent system is a joke when it comes to the IT world. I don't know a lot about it, but I bet there's very little investigation involved when they grant the patents and/or the ones that give them don't know shit about technology so they make strict patent of things they shouldn't. Then anyone who comes up to a similar product are in risk of being sued, no matter how easy it is. Imagine someone had the patent for wheels or a stick. There are many comparable patemts in the IT world.

It's as if I decided to create a new plug, with 6 pins but that obviously still has nothing but +, - and ground, 2 of each (pointless yeah). Then after they give me that patent I decide to fill a lawsuit for anyone creating an adapter to plug their products into them. Anyone can come up to how to make an adapter, they don't need to spy my designs. IMO in that case I should have the right to sue anyone using or creating my plug and not paying royalties, but not the adapter.

Translating to Rambus/Nvidia, Rambus should be able to fill a lawsuit against Nvidia if Nvidia didn't pay royalties for DDR memory usage, as that's what they use, but never for the memory controler as that is their own design.
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#9
PP Mguire
I bet Rambus dosent get away with it. Seriously they are going against that many companies with their big lawyers? You gotta be kidding me. This is a complete joke from a law standpoint. This is like PP Mguire vs US Gov.
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#10
Kreij
Senior Monkey Moderator
Rambus is not trying to sue all those companies. They are going after Nvidia. In the filed complaint they are just trying to stop the sale of products that contain the (alledged) infringing design until the lawsuit is resolved.
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#11
PP Mguire
But in turn by trying to stop the sale of so many companies products they might as well be trying to sue cause either way they are all losing money.
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#12
phanbuey
Its rambus trying to get nvidia to buy them i bet...

"your memory architecture has a 10% likeness to my memory architecture... and we both use the word "memory", THIEF!"
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#13
imperialreign
is it just me, or does it seem like the only thing RAMBUS has been good for the last 3 years is filing complaints against big corporations?

nVidia should just let this go to court, then drag it out with their deep-pocketed lawyers until RAMBUS can't afford to operate anymore.

someone needs to swat this mosquito.
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#14
PP Mguire
someone needs to swat this mosquito.
QFT im tired of hearing about Rambus BS.
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#15
theJesus
:banghead: Ugh, they need to just give up already. If all their scientists and engineers have been able to make such "tremendous contributions to the industry", then why can't they just get a job with a company that's actually doing something useful at the moment? :ohwell: :shadedshu
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#17
OzzmanFloyd120
by: exodusprime1337
lol, man things aren't looking good for nvidia, first the chipsets, now this.... people must really dig to find this shit. i can just see their board meetings... well sales and revenue is down, lets just sue somebody for lots and lots of money to make it up... i mean i don't know much about it but that's my ignorant idea of what's goin on.
I find it respectable that you're right out and open with your assessment being "ignorant" Most people will argue to the death on this forum without knowing what the hell is going on... myself included.

It really does look like NV is taking hit after hit though, it's starting to get ridiculous how much ground they've lost in the past few months.
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#18
Swansen
To be honest, i would be pissed if some one took my technology and did crappy things with it. Rambus makes fast memory right now, and DDR doesn't come close to it. Every new release of DDR doesn't do anything for speeds, it hasen't changed since DDR (1) and won't change till like 6. IMO it would be sweet if Rambus won this suit, as it would probably gain some share in the market, and we would see boards supporting Rambus memory, that would be friggin sweet.
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#19
DarkMatter
by: Swansen
To be honest, i would be pissed if some one took my technology and did crappy things with it. Rambus makes fast memory right now, and DDR doesn't come close to it. Every new release of DDR doesn't do anything for speeds, it hasen't changed since DDR (1) and won't change till like 6. IMO it would be sweet if Rambus won this suit, as it would probably gain some share in the market, and we would see boards supporting Rambus memory, that would be friggin sweet.
I don't agree. IMO they already proved in the past their memory is useless on PCs. And it's really expensive. Their designs were vastly superated by DDR in performance/price and things have not changed really. Memory amount matters much more right now than speed and there's no way the average joe could afford even 2GB of XDR.
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#20
lemonadesoda
by: DarkMatter
Translating to Rambus/Nvidia, Rambus should be able to fill a lawsuit against Nvidia if Nvidia didn't pay royalties for DDR memory usage, as that's what they use, but never for the memory controler as that is their own design.
Agreed.

If you let Rambus lawyers go the logical next step: they will sue you for royalties on any documents you write using software that RUNS in their memory, since it is using it. :shadedshu

And video/media players. And media content.

And games.

And pay per view for web content downloaded into memory.

And BIOS firmware for "writing zeros" to the memory at boot.

Can you imagine the lawsuit. "No, you cant write zeros to our memory without a license". Where will it end?
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#21
Swansen
by: DarkMatter
I don't agree. IMO they already proved in the past their memory is useless on PCs. And it's really expensive. Their designs were vastly superated by DDR in performance/price and things have not changed really. Memory amount matters much more right now than speed and there's no way the average joe could afford even 2GB of XDR.
It would not be as expensive as it is because its not a standard, if it were, it would be cheaper, thats how economics work, there needs to be demand. There is never an instance were quantity is better than speed, and right now meaning what ??? Vista, i hope not. XDR has a different architecture than RD. Yes, back when RD was out it was pretty much a fluke, didn't really have any improvements in speed, and had large latency problems, like what the DDR architecture is experiencing right now.

by: lemonadesoda
Agreed.

If you let Rambus lawyers go the logical next step: they will sue you for royalties on any documents you write using software that RUNS in their memory, since it is using it. :shadedshu

And video/media players. And media content.

And games.

And pay per view for web content downloaded into memory.

And BIOS firmware for "writing zeros" to the memory at boot.

Can you imagine the lawsuit. "No, you cant write zeros to our memory without a license". Where will it end?
Yeah, i agree, the patent system is messed up, but that statement could be made to any and every market out there. One for instance is the paintball market, in which it destroyed the whole industry, no lies.
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