updated 12:35 pm EDT, Tue July 12, 2011
Intellectual Ventures sues over memory patents
Intellectual Ventures late Monday continued a string of lawsuits against technology firms with a new lawsuit (below) claiming companies violate five patents for system memory. The complaint hits direct memory part suppliers such as Adata, Elpida, Hynix, and Kingston but also some of their customers, such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Logitech. Even Best Buy and Walmart, stores merely selling the products, are included in the Seattle-based suit.
The company wants unspecified "enhanced damages" from Elpida and Hynix and to ban their products from sale as long as no royalty scheme exists.
Elpida and Hynix had been targeted in a December 2010 Intellectual Ventures suit that had been more narrowly targeted against part suppliers as well as some antivirus app developers.
Intellectual Ventures has had a mixed track record on its attitude towards patents. Suits like the new one reflect its sometimes behavior as a patent troll, since it makes no meaningful products of its own and relies solely on licensing for income. Rather than solely attack companies, however, it has offered patent protection deals to companies like RIM that would shield them against certain kinds of patent suits as well as give them a way to retaliate.