SAN JOSE, Calif. – Rambus Inc. has filed multiple suits asking courts to bar imports of a wide range of chips—and systems using them--from Broadcom, Freescale, LSI, MediaTek, Nvidia and STMicroelectronics it claims infringe its patents.
At issue are two patent portfolios owned by Rambus. Ironically one is the Dally1 portfolio of William Dally who now serves as chief technologist at Nvidia. Rambus got the patents as part of its 2003 acquisition of technology from Velio Communications, a company founded by Dally.
The complaint is a broad one, citing core technology in the Dally patents that Rambus claims cover widely used interconnects such as PCI Express, Serial ATA, Serial Attached SCSI and DisplayPort. Rambus claims a separate set of patents listed in the complaint, the Barth portfolio, covers a broad set of memory interfaces including DDR, DDR2, DDR3, mobile DDR, LPDDR, LPDDR2, and GDDR3 memory controllers.
The complaint also asks the ITC to bar import into the U.S. of any systems products that include allegedly infringing chips. These products range from PCs and servers to routers, mobile phones, set-top boxes and hard disk drives.
The ITC is expected to decide whether to initiate an investigation under this complaint within 45 days.
Rambus filed a separate patent infringement suit against Broadcom, Freescale, LSI, MediaTek and STMicroelectronics in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California. It alleges chips with certain memory controllers infringe Rambus patents. A separate suit was filed against Nvidia related to the dally portfolio.
“We have been attempting to license these companies for some time to no avail," said Harold Hughes, chief executive of Rambus. "One of the respondents frankly told us that the only way they would get serious is if we sued them," he said in a press statement.
Rambus is no stranger to IP litigation. For a decade, it was party to suits and countersuits regarding its claims to SDRAM memory technology.