updated 04:55 pm EST, Fri November 7, 2008
Rambus files ITC complaint
In addition to filing a lawsuit against graphics hardware maker NVIDIA back in July, technology licensing company Rambus has filed a formal complaint against the company on Thursday with the US International Trade Commission. Rambus has requested an investigation of NVIDIA products that it hopes would lead to the barring of importation, sale for importation and sale after importation of the latter's products that Rambus believes infringe on nine of its patents.
The NVIDIA products in question include graphics processors as well as media and communications processors that use DDR (double data rate) memory controllers, including the GDDR3 memory it uses for newer graphics cards. Not only will NVIDIA's named standalone products be affected, but also system manufacturers who built their PCs with the parts already installed, including ASUS, BFG Technologies, Biostar Microtech, Diablotek, MSI, Palit Multimedia, Pine Technology and Sparkle Computer.
Rambus VP and general counsel Tom Lavelle went on the record to say the move is 'necessary' to protect shareholders and in fairness to paying licensees. The ITC is expected to rule on the necessity of an investigation within 30 days.
NVIDIA isn't believed to have formally responded to the accusations but is just the latest in a set of companies that have been sued by Rambus, which has a history of lawsuits against companies relying on memory technology that include Infineon, Samsung and other large memory producers.
These lawsuits have had a mixed track record and have potentially shown some companies deliberately using Rambus technology without a license, while the US Federal Trade Commission and critics have accused Rambus of trying to unfairly claim rights to RAM standards and forcing companies to unfairly pay for unnecessary licenses.