The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected seventeen claims that Rambus, a developer of high-speed memory and interface technologies, made against Nvidia Corp., a designer of graphics processors and various multimedia chips. In total, there are eight more claims to consider that Rambus made against the chip developer a year ago.
In June 2008 Rambus accused Nvidia and its partners in infringement of seventeen patents, of which six are to expire in early 2010. The USPTO initially rejected 41 claims in seven patents that Rambus had asserted against Nvidia in June ’09 and additional 8 claims in two patents in July ’09. The recently rejected 17 claims arise from three patents, but there are still eight more claims that arise out of two more patents that are being considered by the USPTO.
“This continues our string of victories against Rambus patents in the USPTO. We believe these patents are invalid and are confident that a similar decision will be made on the patents that continue to be examined,” said David Shannon, Nvidia executive vice president and general counsel
After the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issues its final conclusions regarding claims made by Rambus, the U.S. International Trade Commission will make its final judgments whether Nvidia had infringed any of Rambus’ patents.
“The patents remain valid and enforceable as issued until the re-examination proceedings are concluded, including all appeals,” said Linda Ashmore, a spokesperson for Rambus.
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.