LONDON – The United States International Trade Commission has announced that it will launch an investigation into various chips and memory controllers and products that contain them, including PC motherboards, modems, routers and computers, following a complaint filed by Rambus Inc.
Rambus was already pursuing six companies through the law courts alleging patent infringement but additonal companies cited as targets of the investigation include: Asus, Cisco, Garmin, Hewlett-Packard Hitachi GST, Motorola and Seagate as part of a list of 34 companies.
The complaint – which calls for an exclusion order and for cease and desist orders to be issued – was filed with the ITC by Rambus (Sunnyvale, Calif.) on Dec. 1, 2010. It follows the filing of multiple law suits by Rambus alleging patent infringement. Rambus claims to have patent portfolios that cover key technologies used in PCI Express, Serial ATA, Serial Attached SCSI and DisplayPort as well as memory interfaces including DDR, DDR2, DDR3, mobile DDR, LPDDR, LPDDR2, and GDDR3 memory controllers.
However, while Rambus has so far only filed law suits against six companies alleging infringement; Broadcom, Freescale, LSI, MediaTek, Nvidia and STMicroelectronics, the ITC investigation is set to look into the products of a much longer list of companies.
The ITC has identified the following as respondents in this investigation: Freescale, Broadcom, LSI, Mediatek, Nvidia, STMicroelectronics NV, STMicroelecronics Inc., Asustek, Asus, Audio Partnership plc, Biostar Microtech, Biostar Microtech International Corp., Cisco, Elitegroup, EVGA, Galaxy Micro, Garmin, GBT, Giga-byte Technology Co., Ltd., Gracom, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Jaton Corp., Jaton Technology Micro-star International, MSI Computer Corp., Motorola, Oppo Digital, Palit Microsystems, Pine Technology, Seagate, Sparkle Computer, Zotac International, and Zotac USA Inc.
The ITC will set a date for completing the investigation with 45 days of its institution and the decision is set to be ratified, or not, within 60 days of a decision being handed down.
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