The US International Trade Commission has issued a notice of final determination in the patent infringement action brought by Rambus against Nvidia and other respondents, the technology licensing company, often accused of being a patent troll, announced in a press release. The ITC found Nvidia and some of its customers (co-respondents in the case) guilty of infringing three Rambus patents, affirming an earlier decision by an ITC administrative law judge, albeit with some modification.
The ITC has notified Rambus of its intent to issue a Limited Exclusion Order prohibiting the importation of infringing products into the United States; the list includes Nvidia’s GeForce, Quadro, nForce, Tesla and Tegra product families. The sale of infringing products previously imported by the respondents will also be banned.
However, the respondents can continue to import and sell the affected products during a 60-day Presidential review period by posting a bond equaling “2.65% of the entered value of the subject imports.” According to a Bloomberg report, Nvidia will be taking advantage of a licensing arrangement Rambus reached with the European Commission “to continue our business under the terms of that license and prevent the enforcement of any exclusion order.” Last year, Rambus settled an antitrust case in Europe by agreeing to cap memory chip royalties at 40 cents per unit.
"We are extremely pleased with the ITC's decision to issue a Limited Exclusion Order, signaling the strength of our innovation efforts beyond the Farmwald-Horowitz patents of our founders. The value of our patented inventions has been recognized by our current licensees, and we will continue our efforts to license others,” said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.
Rambus, the technology company turned responsible for RDRAM has filed suit against Nvidia claiming that they violated 17 of its memory patents. Rambus’ lawsuit alleges that at least six of Nvidia's product lines infringe the Rambus patents including chip sets, graphics processors and applications processors. They ask for an injunction that would prevent Nvidia from selling the products as well as damages.
Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus was quoted as saying, "For more than six years, we have diligently attempted to negotiate a licensing agreement with Nvidia, but our good faith efforts have been to no avail," he adds, "We are left with no other recourse than litigation to protect and seek fair compensation for the use of our patented inventions,".
Can you smell the bull? I better get my rubber boots it’s getting thick. His own statement shows this to be an attempt to force Nvidia to cough up something to make Rambus go away and they haven't been interested. Nvidia has yet to comment on the suit.