The Samsung vs. Apple patent war may be the legal spat featuring most prominently in the news these days, but we haven't forgotten about Rambus and its own actions.
Rambus is the perfect example of a patent troll: a company that doesn't make products but which patents technologies and then lives off lawsuit settlements
We don't dispute that Rambus
has its share of patent licensing deals
going, but we've been covering its infringement lawsuits for years, and there are plenty of them.
Granted, as patent trolls go, this one is fairly competent, having won some of its court battles. The one against LSI Logic and ST Microelectronics, as well as several others, is not one of them though.
The International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled that the contested patents from the Barth and Dally families have not, in fact, been infringed.
"The U.S. International Trade Commission has determined to terminate the investigation with a finding of no violation of section 337," reads a statement
by the ITC.
"We affirm the ALJ’s determination that the Barth patents are unenforceable under the doctrine of unclean hands. We affirm the ALJ’s finding of exhaustion of the Barth patents as to one respondent. The Commission’s determinations, including non-dispositive findings not recited above, will be set forth more fully in the Commission’s opinion."
In layman terms, the defendants did not create and sell products that use the memory and signal interface technology patents brought forth by Rambus.
Initially, Freescale Semi. Broadcom, LSI Corp., Mediatek, Nvidia and STMicroelectronics were the main opponents of the patent troll here, along with about 20 customers and respondents. Rambus’s settlements
with Broadcom, Freescale, MediaTek
, and Nvidia reduced the list to LSI and STMicro (and their customers ASUS, Cisco, Garmin, HP, Hitachi GST and Seagate).
"We are evaluating our next steps in this matter, which may include a possible appeal to the Federal Circuit. We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting our patented inventions from unlicensed use," said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.