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Patents The Courts Your Rights Online

Rambus Could Reap Millions In Patent Settlements 82

Posted by kdawson
from the what-innovation-looks-like-now dept.
RedEaredSlider writes "Rambus, a designer of semiconductor chips, won a long-running patent battle with NVIDIA, but that dispute is not the only one the company is involved in — and the upcoming decisions could mean millions in additional revenue. Besides the NVIDIA decision, Rambus is involved in a suit with Hynix Semiconductor that will be heard in October. In that case, Hynix had originally sued Rambus in 2000, but Rambus counter-sued. Hynix lost, and appealed. The parties will appear before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in October. A judgment in Rambus's favor would be worth at least $397 million, according to the company's general counsel, Tom Lavelle."
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Rambus Could Reap Millions In Patent Settlements

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  • Rambus... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sol Rosinberg (586029) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:52PM (#33053438)
    Wow, there's a company I haven't heard of in years. Didn't they make some hideously expensive RAM that was supposed to perform twice as well as normal RAM, but never lived up to the hype? Basically, they patented the design, couldn't get it to work right, and now they're suing the companies who did.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Tuesday July 27, 2010 @11:53PM (#33053442)

    No. NO. Rambus is an IP troll, at best they specify how chips talk to each other on a motherboard. Smarter people then design chips.

    Yeah. Rambus has a lot in common with SCO ... parasitic beasts at best.

  • The SCO outlook (Score:5, Insightful)

    by coldmist (154493) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:01AM (#33053488) Homepage

    Although their chances are better than SCO's (debatable, but I'd give it to them), this story sounds as rosy as an SCO fanboy writing their weekly column.

    "could mean millions" Could. Could.

    I really wish we had a news service that posted honest stories.

    Rambus has sued the world, and finally one of them stuck. nVidia is the loser this time. If only Rambus would die, then we could all move on in life.

    See how much nicer that would be! ;)

  • "could reap"!? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:12AM (#33053528)

    How do you think they have lasted 10 years beyond any product they have actually manufactured??

    Their only business in the last decade has been patent trolling... and business has been good.

  • Re:"could reap"!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Klinky (636952) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @12:31AM (#33053602)

    Haters Gonna Hate,
    Patent Trolls Gonna Litigate

  • Re:Rambus... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JackieBrown (987087) <dbroome@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @01:06AM (#33053714)

    If we PS3 owners can get past the fact that we are helping Sony, I doubt helping RAMBUS will cause much worry.

  • Number Bias? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Revotron (1115029) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @01:41AM (#33053762)

    Reporting possible settlements as stated by the complainant's GC is like buying a diamond ring from a jewelry store at the sticker price. It's going to be a horribly, horribly overblown number way above reason and logic, because their goal is to squeeze every penny out of you. It's just like buying a car - only chumps pay the sticker price.

    Even if Rambus can prove every single violation, there's a great deal of doubt in my mind that the judge will actually award them what they think it's worth.

  • Re:Lawful Evil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @02:04AM (#33053786)

    Naming the character alignment for r/l entities sounds like a fun nerd-game.

    I claim that the pirate-bay guys are Chaotic Neutral!

  • Re:"could reap"!? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @02:11AM (#33053800)

    Hah, and the haters and trolls who work for Rambus (or have stock?) apparently have mod points today...

  • patent troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lead Butthead (321013) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @02:47AM (#33053882) Journal

    Rambus is one company that needs to be nuked from orbit while all of their lawyers and officers are locked in the building.

  • Re:Lawful Evil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by noidentity (188756) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @03:08AM (#33053928)
    You joke, but it's exactly true. If you commit a crime, you only have your own resources and power to carry it out. But if you get the state to do the work for you, then you have virtually unlimited power. The more you can have laws made which restrict the free market, the more power you have against the other guy (sure, the other guy might be able to wield said power, but if you got the laws made the right way, you will have better control of their power).
  • Re:Rambus... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dionysus (12737) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @03:27AM (#33053990) Homepage

    Any company that engages in significant patent lawsuits for cash settlements (not patent portfolio license exchanges) should be classed a patent troll.

    Nah, still too strict. How about anybody Slashdotters don't like who also holds any patens are patent troll?

  • Nope, sorry, they are patent trolls. If you read the history [wikipedia.org] of their involvement with JEDEC, they basically fucked EVERYBODY, including us consumers, by sitting in on the SDRAM meetings and secretly patenting everything that wasn't nailed down.

    So while they may have invented a few cool things their actions at JEDEC were total patent trolling and any patents that arose from those meetings seriously needs to get tossed out. Instead what will happen is you Mr Anon Coward, Me, and everybody else will pay more for memory of ANY kind, be it for motherboards, GPUs, or frankly just about anything using modern memory tech, because those trolls were allowed to steal everything that wasn't nailed down. So unless some completely new memory tech comes down the pipe (and even then as broad as the patents are you might nor even escape then) we will ALL be paying a "RAMBUS tax" on anything that has memory for the next 20+ years. What we need is a company like IBM or Google to come along and buy them out and offer their patents with RAND pricing, instead of allowing these trolls to continue to exist.

  • Re:Rambus... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asc99c (938635) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @04:10AM (#33054118) Homepage

    I think the problem people have with RAMBUS is specifically that they sat in on the JEDEC working groups to watch the development of new standards, and then when everyone had decided on the design and invested huge amounts of money, they piped up that they had a patent on it. This was completely against the principles of the JEDEC working groups - where the meetings are specifically aimed at ensuring they are developing an open standard free from their member's patents which might otherwise block the technology - not necessarily 100% unpatented, but where they know what the patent licensing agreements are. Generally all the members agree to cross-licence the patents between themselves - this is the 'cost' of joining the JEDEC standards group.

    The RAMBUS technology (and to a leser extent, it's implementation) is actually rather good, so they aren't a classic patent troll, but their submarine patent on DDR technology makes them clearly some form of patent troll.

  • Re:Rambus... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @07:31AM (#33054680)

    I would agree. The definition of a patent troll to me should be any individual who has the mindset as one. What really irritates me though is that the USPTO office no matter what bad decision gets off scot free. I am sorry, but Federal or not they should be held accountable for their actions and the individual examiners should be drug into court when it is found they didn't do their job right and cost millions for some company.

  • Re:patent troll (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Delarth799 (1839672) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @09:02AM (#33055160)
    Can we add in the judge from Marshall Texas and all the parents of the shell companies setup there? That would take out most of the patent trolls and their favorite judge in one swoop :D
  • Re:Not quite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cheesybagel (670288) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @11:01AM (#33056572)

    Other companies than Samsung tried to manufacture RDRAM and failed even more, because of poor quality control. The fact is the design was complex, and hard to manufacture, leading to all sorts of issues, including localized heat zones. If you remember, RDRAM was when we started seeing heat spreaders in memory modules.

    Sending a signal on both edges of the clock has been done since like forever. I learned it in class before Rambus was even founded. If DDR infringes on a patent because of that, the patent office needs to review its standards for accepting patent applications.

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