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ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe

1/3/2011 03:07 PM EST
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bkeller137
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
bkeller137   1/10/2011 7:26:35 PM
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Because some protected IP is being used within an industry standard practice (i.e. any and all DDR memory interfaces), it seems that any company that produces memory with such interfaces or logic that communicates with such memory devices would need to get licensed from Rambus. I can see where that could be a large pool of companies. The only thing I recall as being questionable was the way Rambus was involved in the defining of the DDR industry standard without disclosing their patent applications. That initially was thought to invalidate their claims, but apparently that is no longer true since they won an appeal. I was a little surprised about that since a company I worked for in the 1980's was sending data on the rising and falling edges of clocks back then and perhaps even before I knew of it; but that doesn't include all the details specific to how DDR and the follow-ons infringe on the Rambus IP.

Neo10
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
Neo10   1/5/2011 3:22:05 AM
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While Rambus being in the news for all the wrong reasons may look silly and a pain in the neck, it may well be true that they did some pioneering work on memory interfaces early on and was brushed aside by big tech companies when approached for royalties. Now I think they feel they are strong enough to withstand them in court. We are forgetting an important thing: patent protection is a must for serious research and development. But again this is twin edged sword and the justice institutions should try to do a balancing act so that companies don't waste their time in frivolous law suits. Innovation in technology is something most companies engage in and we need to have some buffer for closely spaced alternatives.

Peter Clarke
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
Peter Clarke   1/4/2011 11:42:31 AM
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@negative_delay_buffer and @docdivikar I hear your requests for more detail, which is one reason why I included a link to Rick Merritt's earlier piece which mentions Rambus's Daly and Barth patent portofolios. However, if you want someone to research all the patents therein and provide a detailed breakdown of them and assess their merits, well maybe that could be something we could try and do in EE Times Confidential.

Ketchikan
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
Ketchikan   1/4/2011 6:04:06 AM
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Respond to selinz Most people you have spoken to probably owe Rambus 10 years of royalties due to their wanton piracy (willful infringement of Rambus intellectual property) hence they try to down play the foundational contribution of Rambus IP to the edvancment of modern comuting. Some questions you should ask yourself... Who invented synchronous chip to chip interfaces (and owns many valid and infringed patents in this space)? Who solved (with many valid and infringed patents they own in this space)the memory/CPU bottleneck that plagued the industry in the late 90's? When you answer both these questions you will understand Rambus' crucial role in the advancement of modern computing in the last 20 years.

goafrit
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
goafrit   1/4/2011 3:12:56 AM
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This is the new world. Cannot fight with engineers, hire the lawyers. It is all the money.

docdivakar
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
docdivakar   1/3/2011 9:59:29 PM
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@Peter Clarke: I would have to agree with the comments by @negative_delay_buffer above -the article does not provide enough depth for us to discern what is RAMBUS' merit in going after what now seems to be 30+ companies. It is unfortunate that these 30+ companies have their innovations and product developments stifled by having to fight the law suits. Most tech businesses have a practice of ensuring their products' designs do not infringe on others' patent claims. To do so willingly is suicidal for small companies and unwanted nuisance for larger ones. Publishing utility applications earlier would do many businesses a big favour so they can either work around the published claims or innovate new ones. To that end, I fully echo comments made by @negative_delay_buffer above. Rambus is a technology licensing company and gets its annual revenue by licensing its patents. I don't know if their legal staff has any one named Sue but that seems to be what they are doing over the years! Dr. MP Divakar

klsxgo90
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re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
klsxgo90   1/3/2011 7:35:25 PM
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How about a bit more detail in the reporting? What exactly is it about their memory controllers that Rambus considered patent infringement? Everyone seems to have to come up with their own solution to memory interfaces in their ICs, so an "all encompassing" patent or an essential feature on a memory controller would seem to me to not stand up to a challenge when there can be more than one solution to the same problem. We need patent reform now to unlock growth and innovation in technology. Too many ridiculous patents getting approved these days that just clog up the works in litigation. There needs to be a serious focus on increasing the budget at the USPTO to hire more reviewers and eliminate the backlog of applications. And a revamping of the litigation/mediation channels for resolving these disputes FASTER, including potentially invalidating heavily challenged patents already awarded, so companies can solve their disputes and go on with executing their business plans before their product becomes obsolete.

selinz
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CEO
re: ITC backs Rambus with 34-company probe
selinz   1/3/2011 7:32:42 PM
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Does anything think that RAMBUS is actually adding value to the industry? Most people that I have spoken to don't seem to think so. Do our patent laws need to be tied to implementation?

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