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USPTO invalidates key Rambus patent, may lower tech costs

updated 05:50 pm EST, Fri January 27, 2012

USPTO rules last of 3 core Rambus patents invalid

Rambus' litigation campaign suffered a possibly fatal setback Friday after the USPTO pushed word that it had invalidated the final patent out of three the company has been using to sue a large part of the technology industry. Having quietly made the decision on Tuesday, the patent office's appeals board left Rambus without any of the patents it has been using to sue NVIDIA, Hynix, HP, and others. The first two had been scrapped in September.

Rambus was considering appealing the decision, but would only say that it was "evaluating" what it could do.

Although an actual product designer, unlike many who launch massive patent lawsuit campaigns, Rambus has increasingly depended more and more on its lawsuits rather than its creative output. It has often been accused by its targets of being duplicitous with patents, joining the JEDEC standards body for memory only to secretly patent some of what it learned and later profit from unsuspecting JEDEC members.

If the invalidation is upheld, numerous technology companies may directly and incidentally benefit from the move. Rambus has successfully extracted ongoing royalties from some of those it has targeted, leading component companies like Broadcom, NVIDIA, and others to factor in the cost for the prices they give mobile and PC designers that in turn get passed on to users. Companies may also have less anxiety about developing memory techniques independently while still facing a possible Rambus lawsuit.

By Electronista Staff


  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Jan 2007


    Finally. Proof that

    someone at the USPTO is paying attention to something.

    "Rambus has successfully extracted ongoing royalties from some of those it has targeted, leading component companies like Broadcom, NVIDIA, and others..."

    I wonder if these organizations that were targeted, and successfully extracted from, will be getting their money back from Rambus.

  1. thinkman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    Thanks USPTO

    Rambus has proven itself to be just another patent troll (I believe this is a whole new category of CROOKS), trying to make money off of the talents and accomplishments of others, that would make any common thief proud.

  1. thinkman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005



    After having commented on this site since Jan 2005, I am still considered Fresh-Faced. I know this isn't Electonista's intent, but at 66, I take this as a total compliment ; )

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