Saturday, January 23rd 2010

ITC Administrative Law Judge Rules in Favor of Rambus in Matter Reg: NVIDIA Products

Rambus Inc., one of the world’s premier technology licensing companies, today announced that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for its U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) action against NVIDIA Corp. and other respondents issued an Initial Determination finding them in violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. The ALJ determined that three of Rambus’ five asserted patents are valid, enforceable, and infringed by the respondents. The ALJ also determined that there was no violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 for the remaining two asserted patents. The action is Investigation Number 337-TA-661.

Any of the parties may request the ITC’s full Commission to review the ALJ’s Initial Determination. If the Commission grants a petition for review, it may affirm, modify, reverse, set aside, or remand all or part of the ALJ’s decision in developing the ITC’s final determination.

“Following an extensive hearing process, we are pleased with the ALJ’s determination that three of our patents are valid and infringed,” said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus. “We are obviously disappointed with the result for the other asserted patents and intend to request the Commission’s review of the corresponding portions of the Initial Determination. We will continue to vigorously protect our patented inventions for the benefit of our shareholders and in fairness to our paying licensees.”

History of the case: On November 6, 2008, Rambus filed a complaint with the ITC requesting an investigation pertaining to NVIDIA products. The complaint sought an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, or sale after importation of products that infringe nine of Rambus’ patents. The accused products are products that incorporate certain NVIDIA memory controllers, including graphics processors and media and communications processors. 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 Holdings, Ltd., and Sparkle Computer Co. Four of the asserted patents were withdrawn from the investigation. An evidentiary hearing on the remaining asserted patents was held before the ALJ on October 13-20, 2009.
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46 Comments on ITC Administrative Law Judge Rules in Favor of Rambus in Matter Reg: NVIDIA Products

#1
PCpraiser100
When will Nvidia stop getting in trouble?
Posted on Reply
#2
DirectorC
I've come up with a couple of nice burn jokes about nVidia's current situation in the market:

nVidia is gonna need a bailout if they wanna keep these cars in the lots--err I mean cards in the slots!

They might have to build a house with those cards coz they are gonna fold like one!


I'm sorry if my jokes suck, especially the 2nd one.
Posted on Reply
#3
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
PCpraiser100 said:
When will Nvidia stop getting in trouble?
After they make some serious changes to how they do business.
Posted on Reply
#4
theubersmurf
Can't say I'm a big fan of Rambus, but if the IP is theirs, I don't want to see it violated either. Atm, I'm not the biggest fan of nvidia either though...
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#6
Roph
Oh rambus, when will you die?
Posted on Reply
#7
DBH
They screwed over Samsung getting $1bn from them and now they got Nvidia. I think RAMBUS is the next villian!
Posted on Reply
#8
t77snapshot
TheLostSwede said:
Except most of what Rambus owns patents of wasn't actually made by them, they just ponied up for a bunch of patents...
Rambus is more or less a patent troll...
DaedalusHelios said:
Yeah, companies in the USA are notorious for paying off patent officials to use the courts to do extortion. Patent law in the USA is extremely corrupt. Every lawyer I know that I have spoken with about it agrees including my uncle. Every country has its corruption, and some are a good portion more corrupt than others like: China and Russia. :laugh:
I agree to the max.

DirectorC said:
I've come up with a couple of nice burn jokes about nVidia's current situation in the market:

nVidia is gonna need a bailout if they wanna keep these cars in the lots--err I mean cards in the slots!

They might have to build a house with those cards coz they are gonna fold like one!


I'm sorry if my jokes suck, especially the 2nd one.
The first one was kinda funny :p
Posted on Reply
#9
Mussels
Moderprator
i wonder what cards this is going to affect, if they have to be taken off the market?
Posted on Reply
#10
sneekypeet
Unpaid Babysitter
Mussels said:
i wonder what cards this is going to affect, if they have to be taken off the market?
Not if they pay out like Samsung did;)
Posted on Reply
#11
Rakesh95
Its just adding to the delay of the gt300 isn't it?
Did they plan to get them just before they release fermi?
Posted on Reply
#12
[H]@RD5TUFF
Meh. This is little more than a dog pile for money by a company barley hanging on. GTFO, an move on!
Posted on Reply
#13
CyberDruid

I guess the internet doesn't know what poopie head meanies RAMBUS is for protecting their IP.

Business is just another game and like any game there are many ways to win. If Nvidia's lawyers did not do their research and discover that the technology was patented and needed licensing then they must be some pretty thick lawyers...it's not like the information was witheld or hidden: it is public record. Nvidia set themselves up by not covering their bases.
Posted on Reply
#14
[H]@RD5TUFF
CyberDruid said:
http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/4985/rambus.jpg
I guess the internet doesn't know what poopie head meanies RAMBUS is for protecting their IP.

Business is just another game and like any game there are many ways to win. If Nvidia's lawyers did not do their research and discover that the technology was patented and needed licensing then they must be some pretty thick lawyers...it's not like the information was witheld or hidden: it is public record. Nvidia set themselves up by not covering their bases.
That's pretty acurate source there, you should write for the NY Times.
Posted on Reply
#15
Midianite
What's RAMBUS? How does it function on a gpu?
Posted on Reply
#16
Mussels
Moderprator
Midianite said:
What's RAMBUS? How does it function on a gpu?
rambus is a company.
Posted on Reply
#17
[H]@RD5TUFF
Mussels said:
rambus is a company.
WOOOOSHHH! hear that? Going over your head?
Posted on Reply
#18
H82LUZ73
Midianite said:
What's RAMBUS? How does it function on a gpu?
Go way back Ten years when they and Intel where going to change the memory market,But Rambus cost way to much for what it was,Intel dropped them for bad controllers and chips,So Rambus turned around and started suing every god damn company since.

Here is the story about RamFuss and Intel

http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/intels-rambus-mistake-20001018/

Google is a Tool use it like a porn star does his ......

Gee I guess we all just found out why the GForce line was so much better in memory bandwidth uh.I would be mad and angry if Nvidia fell apart, but then again why? look at what they have done to 3DFX ten years ago.Then again what would AMD/ATI be like just doing what they should be doing GPU`s not cpu`s.$800 and up or would they stay at $300 top end cards.
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#19
nt300
It's about time Rambus reclaims all that they've lost. Nvidia should know better than this. You don't see ATI having this trouble, they pay there bills on time :D
Posted on Reply
#20
Bjorn_Of_Iceland
Roph said:
Oh rambus, when will you die?
Probly when they finished amassing the funds for their interplanetary gun
Posted on Reply
#21
Black Panther
Senior Moderator™
Things appear to keep on rolling downhill...
Nvidia Says Patent Settlement With Rambus Unlikely After Loss
January 27, 2010, 08:39 AM EST

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Nvidia Corp., a maker of graphics chips that help run video games, said it won’t negotiate with Rambus Inc. after losing a U.S. trade agency decision that it violated three Rambus-owned patents.

“Rambus and Nvidia talked for eight years before they sued us,” David Shannon, Nvidia’s general counsel, said in an interview yesterday in Washington. “I don’t think it’s realistic to think that there’s going to be an agreement anytime soon between the two companies.”

Judge Theodore Essex with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington said Nvidia infringed three Rambus patents, while two others are invalid. His finding is subject to review by the six-member commission and, if upheld, could result in a ban on imports of Nvidia chips and products that use them, including some computers made by Hewlett-Packard Co. Shannon said it won’t reach that point.

“Our customers will never have their businesses interrupted,” Shannon said. “Our position is there will be no exclusion order.”

Nvidia has several options to prevent any order banning imports, he said. If the commission sides with Rambus, Nvidia can appeal to a court that specializes in patent law. Nvidia is receiving “no pressure” from customers to settle the case, Shannon said.

Nvidia, based in Santa Clara, California, fell 53 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $16.21 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading yesterday. Rambus, based in Los Altos, California, dropped 48 cents, or 2 percent, to $23.94.



Patent Review



In a separate proceeding, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is taking a second look at the Rambus patents. The three found to be in violation by Essex were rejected by the agency, Shannon said. Rambus is appealing that decision in a process that will take more than a year, and in the meantime the patents remain valid and enforceable.

“We’re not going to pay on patents that are not valid,” he said.

Shannon said that, should Nvidia lose both before the ITC and the patent office, Rambus would have to accept limits on patent royalties because of an agreement reached last year with the European Commission.

Linda Ashmore, a spokeswoman for Rambus, said the company’s position is the same as that expressed last week, when General Counsel Tom Lavelle said the company is “very interested in having productive constructive settlement discussions with Nvidia whenever they’re ready.”



Samsung Settlement



The patents in the Nvidia case, which involve the memory controllers that connect the memory and the graphics chips, are newer than ones Rambus has been asserting against memory-chip makers.

Samsung Electronics Co. agreed to pay $900 million last week to end its dispute with Rambus and sign a new licensing agreement.

Nvidia trails Intel Corp. in sales of graphics chips. Intel, also based in Santa Clara, sells its semiconductors as part of other products, such as microprocessor chipsets. Nvidia competes more directly with Sunnyvale, California-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in the market for separate graphics chips used in computer cards.

In December, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission accused Intel, the world’s largest computer-chip maker, of illegally using its dominant market position to stifle competition, including for graphics chips.

Nvidia claims Intel’s bundling of its microprocessors with the company’s graphics-chip sets blocks Nvidia from the market. Intel also is making it hard for Nvidia to connect to its newer products, Nvidia said.



‘Monopoly Position’



“If you’re in a monopoly position, and you abuse it like Intel has, then the right remedy for the government is to open up those markets,” Shannon said.

The FTC is “mistaken,” Chuck Mulloy, an Intel spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

“They don’t understand the fundamentals of the market,” Mulloy said. The agency “did not conduct a thorough investigation of the charges related to Nvidia and the graphics market” before filing the complaint, he said.

A trial in the FTC case is scheduled for September in Washington. Separately, a trial is set for April in Delaware Chancery Court over whether a 2004 patent-licensing agreement they signed allows Nvidia to make chip sets work with Intel’s latest microprocessor family. Nvidia argues it does; Intel argues it doesn’t.

The contract dispute forced Nvidia to stop making those chip sets, Shannon said.

“We see no downside to that case at all,” Shannon said. “The damage to us has already been incurred in the fact we’re no longer in the business.”
Source: Businessweek.com
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