An administrative law judge at the U.S. International Trade Commission has issued an initial determination claiming that LSI Corp., MediaTek, STMicroelectronics and other chip designers did not infringe upon several patents held by Rambus, including a number of those that belong to Barth and Dally families of patents, which cover memory and signal interfaces.
On December 1, 2010, Rambus filed a complaint with the ITC requesting an investigation pertaining to certain Respondent products. The complaint sought an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of products that infringe a number of Rambus patents from the Dally and Barth families. For the Dally patents, the accused semiconductor products from the aforementioned companies include ones that incorporate PCI Express, certain Serial ATA, certain Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), and DisplayPort interfaces. In the case of the Barth patents, the accused semiconductor products include ones that incorporate DDR, DDR2, DDR3, mobile DDR, LPDDR, LPDDR2, and GDDR3 memory controllers. Accused semiconductor products in the complaint include graphics processors, media processors, communications processors, chip sets and other logic integrated circuits (ICs). Since the investigation was instituted, Rambus has signed patent license agreements with former Respondents Broadcom, Freescale and Nvidia.
ALJ Theodore R. Essex found last week there was no violation of Rambus patents by LSI Logic, MediaTek, ST Microelectronics and other respondents. Rambus may request a full commission review of the ALJ's initial determination and thus oppose the ruling.
"We have yet to receive the decision, but are disappointed with the initial determination of no violation. We believe in the strength of our portfolio and remain committed to protecting our patented inventions from unlicensed use," said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.