Rambus pulls some infringement claims against Nvidia

By , IDG News Service |  Legal, Nvidia, patent

Nvidia on Monday said that Rambus had filed motions with the U.S. International Trade Commission to terminate an investigation relating to Nvidia's alleged infringement on four patents.

Rambus in November filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that Nvidia had infringed nine of its patents relating to memory technology. Rambus has not yet asked ITC to terminate the investigation of Nvidia related to the alleged infringement on the remaining five patents.

The original ITC complaint named Nvidia as a proposed respondent. Also named as respondents were top PC makers like Asustek Computer and Hewlett-Packard that used the allegedly infringing Nvidia products.

The patents related to use of memory controllers on graphics processors, and media and communications processors. The patent numbers related to Rambus' motion on Monday are 7,287,119, 7,330,952, 7,330,953 and 7,360,050.

Nvidia said Rambus' motion was a big win for the graphics company, but Rambus underplayed those claims.

"These withdrawals represent essentially half of the patents and one third of the claims asserted against us, and we look forward to addressing the remainder of the case," said David Shannon, Nvidia's general counsel, in a statement.

But motions to terminate are fairly common practice in ITC proceedings, said Linda Ashmore, a Rambus spokeswoman.

"Rambus filed the motion to simplify the investigation, streamline the hearing and conserve Commission resources in consideration of the evidence that will be presented at the hearing," Ashmore said.

This process is unrelated to the recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office activity with Nvidia, Ashmore said. Last week, the USPTO issued an initial rejection of 41 of Rambus' claims against Nvidia spanning seven of the nine patents involved in the dispute.

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