Nvidia Corp. on Tuesday said that the U.S. patent and trademark office (USPTO) had has initially rejected all 41 claims challenged by Nvidia in seven patents which Rambus has asserted in litigation against the graphics and core-logic chip designer. Since the ruling is preliminary, Rambus will be able to respond to Nvidia’s claims.
“We are pleased that the USPTO decided to review the patentability of Rambus' patents and agreed with NVIDIA's challenge to all 41 claims. We will continue to vigorously defend this matter in the ITC,” stated David Shannon, Nvidia executive vice president and general counsel.
In addition to the seven patents reviewed thus far, two additional Rambus patents are subject to the same challenge by Nvidia and remain pending before the USPTO. A decision on the final two patents is expected in the next 60 days.
Nvidia has challenged patent claims that stem from a complaint filed by Rambus in November 2008 against Nvidia in an International Trade Commission (ITC) action.
The complaint by Rambus seeks an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, or sale after importation of products that infringe nine Rambus patents from the Ware and Barth families of patents. The accused products include Nvidia products that incorporate DDR, DDR2, DDR3, LPDDR, GDDR, GDDR2, and GDDR3 memory controllers, including GeForce graphics processors and nForce chipsets.
Since Rambus believes that it invented all the modern DRAM technologies, it seeks royalty payments not only from memory makers, but also from those, who develop memory controllers and sells them as part of their products.