Things aren't looking so hot
for Nvidia. The US International Trade Commission found the company guilty of infringing on three Rambus patents. The decision may lead to a ban on the import of some Nvidia products -- unless it divvies up, of course.
In July 2008, Rambus filed suit against Nvidia
, claiming the company violated some 17 patents. Infringing products included those with memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, and GDDR3 SDRAM. Nvidia's general counsel, David Shannon, said the company would continue to contest the commission's initial decision, but if the ITC upholds the ruling, Nvidia may have to license the technology patents in question from Rambus.
That won't come cheap, though. For instance, when Samsung settled with Rambus
and licensed its technology for five years, it agreed to pay $200 million upfront, a quarterly sum of roughly $25 million, and to buy $200 million in Rambus stock. Naturally, Rambus is "interested in having productive settlement discussions with Nvidia," but the GPU-maker hasn't caved yet.
In a statement, Rambus said it would continue to "vigorously protect" its patented inventions for the benefit of shareholders and in fairness to paying licensees. MSI, BFG, Biostar, Diablotek, EVGA, Gigabyte, Palit, Sparkles and others were also named in the all-but-defunct memory company's suit.