ITC Finds Nvidia Guilty of Patent Infringement, Orders to Obtain Technology License

ITC: Nvidia Infringed Three Patents Out of Five in Rambus Case

by Anton Shilov
07/26/2010 | 09:27 PM

The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued its notice of final determination in the action brought by Rambus against Nvidia Corp. and other respondents. In its notice, the ITC has affirmed the findings of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), with certain modifications. The final determination, including such modifications, has yet to be released.


On November 6, 2008, Rambus filed a complaint with the ITC requesting an investigation pertaining to certain Nvidia products. The complaint sought an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of products that infringe nine of Rambus’ patents. The accused products include graphics processors and other chips which incorporate infringing memory controllers. Four of the asserted patents were later withdrawn from the investigation.

An evidentiary hearing on the asserted patents was held before the ALJ on October 13-20, 2009. On January 22, 2010, the ALJ issued an initial determination finding two Rambus patents to be not valid. The ALJ further determined three Rambus (Barth) patents valid, enforceable and infringed by the respondents. On Monday Rambus received notice of the ITC’s intent to issue a limited exclusion order barring the importation of respondents’ infringing products into the United States, as well as Cease and Desist Orders barring identified respondents from selling any infringing products that were previously imported into the United States. Under the Limited Exclusion Order, the infringing products may be imported and sold during a 60-day presidential review period if respondents post a bond. The commission has specified that the bond amount is 2.65% of the entered value of the subject imports.

Nvidia said that the decision by the ITC would not affect the company's customers and it would take European Commission-proposed license from Rambus.

"There will be no impact on our customers or our business as a result of this ruling. We intend to take advantage of the mandatory European Commission License that is available. This will allow us and our partners to continue our business under the terms of that license and prevent the enforcement of any exclusion order.  In the meantime, we intend to appeal the case to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and continue to press our arguments on these patents before the USPTO," an official statement by Nvidia reads.