SAN FRANCISCO—As expected, graphics chip vendor Nvidia Corp. has licensed technology for memory controllers from Rambus Inc. under terms Rambus agreed last year to offer to all companies as part of a settlement with the European Union's regulatory arm.
The license agreement comes nearly three weeks after the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled that Nvidia's graphics processors violate memory controller patents held by Rambus. Nvidia (Santa Clara, Calif.) said at the time that it would take the license Rambus agreed to offer in a December 2009 settlement with the European Commission if U.S. President Barack Obama did not invalidate the ITC's ruling during a 60-day presidential review period.
A spokesperson for Nvidia did not immediately respond to questions about why the firm chose not to wait the full 60 days before entering the licensing agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement announced Friday (Aug. 13), Rambus granted Nvidia a patent license for certain memory controllers at a 1 percent royalty rate for SDR memory controllers and a 2 percent royalty rate for other memory controllers.
Rambus (Los Altos, Calif.) and Nvidia have not signed any releases of liability or dismissed any outstanding litigation between them, the companies said. The two companies have litigation pending before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Nvidia also said last month it plans to appeal the ITC's decision.
Nvidia Thursday reported a second quarter net loss of $141 million on sales of $811.2 million, short of consensus analyst expectations. The company cited end-market demand weakness in Europe and China for the shortfall.
The article is confusing so Rich's comment is quite understandable. The "government," in this case the International Trade Commission (ITC), did act very swiftly and decided the case. The ITC was specifically set-up so that import-related disputes, including those that involve patent rights, can be decided extremely quickly. Waiting for President Obama to invalidate an ITC ruling is like waiting for a miracle! The President (or, more accurately, the executive branch) just isn't going to involve itself in a dispute between private parties, unless the dispute has larger implications for US policy.