Rambus, a leading memory and interface technologies developer, on Friday said that it had filed lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against Nvidia Corp. for patent infringement. Interestingly enough, a similar lawsuit may be filed against any company in the industry that develops and sells products containing modern memory controllers and who do not have agreements with Rambus.
Rambus claims that Nvidia-developed products with memory controllers for SDR, DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, and GDDR3 SDRAM infringe 17 Rambus patents. The accused products in the complaint include chipsets, graphics processors, media communication processors, multimedia applications processors and other products from at least six Nvidia product lines, the plaintiff indicated. Rambus is seeking injunctive relief barring the infringement, contributory infringement, and inducement to infringe the Rambus patents, as well as monetary damages.
Rambus believes that it owns patents on technologies used in in SDR, DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 as well as their derivatives for graphics, such as GDDR and newer. The company is seeking to obtain royalties from memory manufacturers as well as from controller developers. However, memory manufacturers claim that Rambus obtained its patents illegally.
"For more than six years, we have diligently attempted to negotiate a licensing agreement with Nvidia, but our good faith efforts have been to no avail," said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.
Potentially, Rambus may sue almost any company that designs memory controllers for any applications.
"Graphics and multimedia products require leading-edge memory performance, and as Nvidia advances its product portfolio, it infringes more and more of our patents. We are left with no other recourse than litigation to protect and seek fair compensation for the use of our patented inventions. Nevertheless, we hope to continue discussions with Nvidia to reach a negotiated settlement," Mr. Lavelle added.
Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.