Patent office rejects Rambus' claims against Nvidia

By on November 25, 2009, 2:49 PM
The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said yesterday that it rejected 17 patent infringement claims asserted by Rambus against Nvidia, bringing the GPU-maker one step closer to victory in the dispute. This comes after the USPTO preliminarily denied Rambus' claims in July.

Nvidia will reportedly present the findings to an International Trade Commission judge in Washington D.C. who is overlooking the case -- though, the judge is not bound by the Patent Office's findings. The judge is expected to make a decision in January, which will serve as a recommendation to the full ITC, at which point the commission could effectively bar imports from Nvidia's overseas suppliers if the goods are determined to violate Rambus-held patents.

The alleged infringements span across a multitude of Nvidia's products, including those with memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR and GDDR3 SDRAM. Eight separate claims from two other patents are still being investigated by the USPTO.




User Comments: 14

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vangrat said:

Let me see if I understand this correctly. Rambus files patents for hardware devices that they themselves will never make, and then go and sue organisations that do go and make these items...wow talk about an easy way to make money. There should be some sort of rule that states if you do not actually put your patent to use in x amount of time it will be up to the patent office to decide whether your claims are valid.

On the other hand it is also possible that Nvidia completely knew about Rambus holding the patents or did not bother to get a legal team to check for them.

Even so, if Rambus never used the patent and their so called "infringement" was of such a minor thing I can see how it might be overlooked as well...blah im glad im not a lawyer.

harby said:

vangrat said:

Let me see if I understand this correctly. Rambus files patents for hardware devices that they themselves will never make, and then go and sue organisations that do go and make these items...wow talk about an easy way to make money. There should be some sort of rule that states if you do not actually put your patent to use in x amount of time it will be up to the patent office to decide whether your claims are valid.

On the other hand it is also possible that Nvidia completely knew about Rambus holding the patents or did not bother to get a legal team to check for them.

Even so, if Rambus never used the patent and their so called "infringement" was of such a minor thing I can see how it might be overlooked as well...blah im glad im not a lawyer.

Exactly, rambus doesn't manufacture a single transistor. Their whole operation is based upon designing and patenting memory technologies and thats about it.

Timonius Timonius said:

Rambus is being ridiculous to begin with. Sure they deserve credit for their design where credit is actually due. But if all they are doing is designing and patenting, then they are abusing the patent system and the judge should throw the book at them.

Guest said:

WoW..you guys know nothing about IP

New solutions are, in essence,ideas, and are protected as such. Thus protection of inventions under patent law does not require that the invention be represented in a physical embodiment.

Patents, also referred to as patents for invention, are the most widespread means of protecting the rights of inventors. Simply put, a patent is the right granted to an inventor by a State, or by a regional office acting for several States, which allows the inventor to exclude anyone else from commercially exploiting his invention for a limited period, generally 20 years. By granting an exclusive right, patents provide incentives to individuals, offering them recognition for their

creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which in turn contributes to the continuing enhancement of the quality of human life.

concerned

vangrat said:

WoW..you guys know nothing about IP

New solutions are, in essence,ideas, and are protected as such. Thus protection of inventions under patent law does not require that the invention be represented in a physical embodiment.

Patents, also referred to as patents for invention, are the most widespread means of protecting the rights of inventors. Simply put, a patent is the right granted to an inventor by a State, or by a regional office acting for several States, which allows the inventor to exclude anyone else from commercially exploiting his invention for a limited period, generally 20 years. By granting an exclusive right, patents provide incentives to individuals, offering them recognition for their

creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which in turn contributes to the continuing enhancement of the quality of human life.

concerned

Hey there

Okay I do understand all of this, and totally agree, IP does need to be protected, however the way that Rambus are going about it seems (by what this post has stated) wrong. They are not helping anyone and are simply delaying progress. HOWEVER, I do not know enough about Rambus to make an educated decision on what it is that they are doing, I am merely going by what I have read of this post. If people are going to Rambus with there ideas to get patented under a large corporate name in order to put muscle and money behind their ideas, kudos and good for them, I would be 100% for this and behind it. Large corporate entities like Nvidia would have a very easy time squashing the little guy if this were the case.

Puiu Puiu said:

Even if they are only designing they are entitled to be protected by the law. How would you feel if NVIDIA used one of you ideas without asking just because you don't plan to actually build it. The guys from NVIDIA are too full of themselves and need to be taught a lesson. This isn't over yet, Ramburs didn't sue them just because they were bored. Let's just see how things play out in the end.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Personally, I feel that the patent system allows too many "inventions" that shouldn't be patented, but not having followed the patents in this case, I can't say if that's relevant.

That said, patents are the only way private inventors or small companies can get some protection from a large company outright stealing their ideas. There are a lot of IP companies that don't produce actual products, and that's fine. In fact, NVIDIA is somewhat like that, being fabless, but companies like Imagination Technologies go further, and just sell the designs for their cores. You wouldn't want companies to just steal that design because it's not protected.

On the gripping hand, there are patent trolls, who invent nothing and just buy patents and sue people. They should be taken out and shot.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Though actually I think that the idea of forcing the company to show an implementation of the patent is good. It doesn't matter if it's just a prototype and can't be sold without years of further work, but it would at least prevent patenting ideas, which is a blatant misuse of the patent system.

Nirkon said:

vangrat said:

WoW..you guys know nothing about IP

New solutions are, in essence,ideas, and are protected as such. Thus protection of inventions under patent law does not require that the invention be represented in a physical embodiment.

Patents, also referred to as patents for invention, are the most widespread means of protecting the rights of inventors. Simply put, a patent is the right granted to an inventor by a State, or by a regional office acting for several States, which allows the inventor to exclude anyone else from commercially exploiting his invention for a limited period, generally 20 years. By granting an exclusive right, patents provide incentives to individuals, offering them recognition for their

creativity and material reward for their marketable inventions. These incentives encourage innovation, which in turn contributes to the continuing enhancement of the quality of human life.

concerned

Hey there

Okay I do understand all of this, and totally agree, IP does need to be protected, however the way that Rambus are going about it seems (by what this post has stated) wrong. They are not helping anyone and are simply delaying progress. HOWEVER, I do not know enough about Rambus to make an educated decision on what it is that they are doing, I am merely going by what I have read of this post. If people are going to Rambus with there ideas to get patented under a large corporate name in order to put muscle and money behind their ideas, kudos and good for them, I would be 100% for this and behind it. Large corporate entities like Nvidia would have a very easy time squashing the little guy if this were the case.

That's how it always is... someone patents something, a company infringes on the patent,

whoever patented it waits years until the company has become very rich and successful,

and then sues their butt for a load of cash... I'm not saying its right...

but that's what I've seen

Puiu Puiu said:

If NVIDIA is actually using the memory controllers that Ramburs designed without their written permission then there's nothing to debate about. It's against the law and that's that.

But the question is: do they use a Ramburs design or not? It's one thing to steal and another to use a something similar that you yourself made.

The idea of the abusing the system is valid only for those who make small inventions, but a large company like Ramburs has some serious backing and might actually win some money from this.

tengeta tengeta said:

Rambus is garbage, I guess France deserves royalties every time a car gets made outside of the country, because hey, they started them.

Then again, what do you expect from a company that has a room with all of their patents framed on a wall.

lupinnktp said:

well, reason is 1 thing, and the law is another. even if Rambus is not gonna produce the product, its patent holds, nevertheless. however if Nvidia independently worked it out themselves, then the story is different. we will be waiting for further development of the case

swilllx2p said:

I don't know much about this but I will say that if Nvidia is actually using Rambus's designs then they should have to pay some money for using them. I'm not so sure its a patent stuff and then try to sue later situation..seems like it would be more of a we're going to design stuff that could be widely used and then sell other bigger companies the rights to use our designs down the road, being in the market to sell designs rather than make them themselves.

But on the other hand it could be a ridiculous money grab as well..which may be indicated in the fact that Nvidia seems to be winning this one.

IvanAwfulitch IvanAwfulitch said:

Everybody always sues the big-dogs because they can. It's one thing if Nvidia actually used this crap, but it's entirely another if Rambus is just using this as an excuse to get some money out of Nvidia. It'd be like if AMD sued Intel, or if Apple sued MS. Same crap, different day, different reason.

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