Replace the common light bulb is not the best use of LEDs as it make heat dissipation a real challenge and as DrQuine points out with RAMBUS's design the dust will get into the places you can't get it out of.
New Fixtures with plenty of room to dissipate not only the heat from the LEDs but from the controlling circuits would promote greater reliability without resorting to patented (added cost) methods. But every LED based fixture I have seen on the market of any substantial light output is substantially higher in price than other fixtures of a similar capacity.
I currently have 20 LEDs bulbs of various types running in my home. Every time a bulb burns out it gets replaced with an LED light. But I have had two failures that occured in less than 6 months. The latest one lasted about 3 weeks and damaged the light socket from the heat when it failed and produced enough smoke and smell to make my wife feel unsafe with the bulbs.
If a lower voltage and lower maximum current flow power source were available in the home (say 48VAC 10A MAX) to drive the LED lighting it would make the electrics for the fixture more reliable and reduce the potential damage in cases like I experienced.
Rewiring houses with 48VAC may not be cost effective but new business buildings where lighting costs are a major concern and the cost of wiring the fixutres is already substantial may be a feasible.
I would rather pay licensing fees for more efficent LEDs than for specially shaped housing that a manufacturer claims will improve light output.
Oh great, yet another light bulb .... How many companies think they can actually be successful in this market? How many companies, established and otherwise are already competing for space on Home-Depot's shelf?
Big market? Yes. Commoditized quickly with rapidly falling margins ... yes too. There are so many more interesting markets for LED lighting.
With most suppliers adopting non-lead solder that should rarely be in a bulb .. that is a simple regulatory fix as well. Not sure where you are seeing mercury in an LED light?
While there are trace amounts of arsenic in LED, this is embedded into the semiconductor material and not easily released.
Keep in mind your traditional "non-toxic" bulb required 4+ times more generation capacity .. often coal, and that releases way more mercury, arsenic, and a whole host of other toxins into the environment.
Given the long life of LED too, the low embodied energy / lumen-hour, less shipping (and related energy), etc. makes an LED bulb way way less toxic than an incandescent bulb.
I see one significant issue: dust. If the bulb faces upwards, this open bulb will be a dust collector. Traditional convex bulbs get a little dust that either rolls off or offends the homeowner enough to dust it off. Here the dust will be hidden inside in the heat generating cavity... At best it will insulate and cause overheating. At worst?
RAMBUS wants to present the idea that they are just wanted to be helpful but the reality is they make money by creating patents on anything they can slide by the patent office. There are numerous other players making LED lighting and I am sure the others are smart enough to persue minimal part count as a cost savings measure. Light guides are nothing new, everyone is looking at how they can get to light generated out to the space to be lit.
RAMBUS is trying to make sure they have patents on any method someone might use to improve LED lighting so they can make money off the companies who are actually doing real engineering work and producing real products. LED lighting is not going to be most cost completitive by adding licensing fees into the mix.
Paint 'em any way you want, they will always be a patent troll at heart.
That aside, When I see anything LED in commercial lighting products, all I think of measured amounts of arsenic, lead, and mercury being dumped into our landfills. Yet these "green" lights are shoved down the public's throats under the guise of being "environmentally responsible".
I would venture to say that by definition of "LED", there must be these toxic materials in this new bulb,unless Rambus re-invented that too, but there is no mention of it so I assume not. I will stick with traditional old fashioned bulbs until they either don't make them anymore, or until a truly non-toxic, more efficient form of lighting evolves.
I doubt that even making a convenient waste collection method would stop the majority of people from just tossing non-functioning bulbs in the trash can. As far as I know, not much of an attempt has been made to educate the public about this, other than printing a warning on the bulb's packaging when new (which gets discarded at the beginning of the bulb's service life so is not of much use).