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Rambus sets lawyers on five firms

ITC complaints raised against Broadcom, Nvidia and others
Thu Dec 02 2010, 16:45

PATENT TROLL Rambus has leveled a fresh complaint against its competitors.

The firm has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against Broadcom, Freescale, LSI, Mediatek and Nvidia, and is looking for a ban on the import of their products that it alleges infringe some of its patents.

The patents are from the Barth and Dally family according to a statement, and Rambus' stake in the first was apparently cemented earlier this year when the ITC found that Nvidia was infringing them and issued an exclusion order against it.

As per usual, the firm is taking the 'this is a last resort' stance on its legal actions. "We have been attempting to license these companies for some time to no avail," said Harold Hughes, president and CEO of Rambus.

Hughes added that the firm had been goaded into the action from one of the targets, but did not say which. "One of the respondents frankly told us that the only way they would get serious is if we sued them", he explained. "Others pursued a strategy of delay rather than negotiate a reasonable resolution."

Semiconductor products that are likely to be infringing on the Dally patents include those that incorporate PCI Express, certain Serial ATA and Serial Attached SCSI as well as Displayport intefaces. The Barth patents cover a range of DDR memory controllers.

Rambus reckoned that these included graphics processors, media processors, communications processors, chipsets and other logic integrated circuits.

Chip firms are not the only targets though and it seems that some hardware manufacturers are also in the spotlight. Rambus did not name the firms but said that the products that they make include "personal computers, workstations, servers, routers, mobile phones and other handheld devices, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, motherboards, plug-in cards, hard drives and modems".

The ITC is expected to decide whether these companies are worth investigation in the next two months. µ



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