Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

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Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:59 pm

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/ ... 4E20120127

Jeez, the RAMBUS saga has been dragging on for over a decade. Are we there yet?
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:00 pm

I forgot about RAMBUS. Pentium 4 vs. Athlon debate revival anyone? lol. :P Seriously though. I didn't even realise RAMBUS was still around, not to mention any technologies still being based off of it.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:03 pm

moresmarterthanspock wrote::P Seriously though. I didn't even realise RAMBUS was still around, not to mention any technologies still being based off of it.


Playstation 2 and 3 both use RAMBUS.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:10 pm

Not only are they still around, their XDR memory tech (successor to RDRAM) is still being used (e.g. Playstation 3). They're also still hauling other companies into court for various reasons. Wikipedia has the whole sordid timeline (thus far). It's just not as big of news any more since their tech isn't used in mainstream PCs.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:11 pm

Didn't the Nintendo 64 use RAMBUS as well?
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:12 pm

moresmarterthanspock wrote:Didn't the Nintendo 64 use RAMBUS as well?

I believe so.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:13 pm

Hmmm, I could think of a few lawyer jokes regarding RAMBUS, but I'm going to just keep my mouth shut. :-?
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:42 pm

The story behind all of this is funny. Basically, all the memory companies tried to screw each other over at once with patents. RAMBUS has won several of these cases... Not as many as they've lost, I think, but more than a few.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:45 pm

One by one, their key patents are getting overturned though. While I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them, their influence is waning.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:51 am

I think ATIAMD also licensed their latest tech for the onboard video card memory?
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:07 am

Flying Fox wrote:I think ATIAMD also licensed their latest tech for the onboard video card memory?


That was a rumor about XDR2 being on Tahiti cards.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:17 am

With RAMBUS's history of being sue-happy, I'm surprised companies still use their technology. Personally, if I owned a tech company, and had other viable options, I would avoid doing business with a company like Rambus. It's common sense. It's like having a friend who has a tendency to steal things. You just don't give him the keys to your house. Problem prevented, problem solved.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:51 am

moresmarterthanspock wrote:With RAMBUS's history of being sue-happy, I'm surprised companies still use their technology. Personally, if I owned a tech company, and had other viable options, I would avoid doing business with a company like Rambus. It's common sense. It's like having a friend who has a tendency to steal things. You just don't give him the keys to your house. Problem prevented, problem solved.

That analogy is not appropriate in this case IMO. The 2 major complaints against Rambus are 1) the usual "obvious" patents, and 2) the "submarining" where they were working on patenting tech while being part of the JEDEC committee working on similar tech which they were obligated to disclose. For #2, they did develop the tech, almost at the same time as the standards committee, not like they steal blueprints from another company or something.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:03 am

That Reuters article was a full page of the same two paragraphs repeating. Can anyone actually tell what patents we're talking about in a nutshell? Reuters was incapable of the obvious.
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Re: Another key RAMBUS patent invalidated

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 8:39 am

moresmarterthanspock wrote:With RAMBUS's history of being sue-happy, I'm surprised companies still use their technology.

Well, just look at the highest profile current user: Sony. Another company with more lawyers than common sense. AFAIK they're also still used a fair bit in embedded applications, since they do have some technical advantages where space and power consumption are more important.

Meadows wrote:That Reuters article was a full page of the same two paragraphs repeating. Can anyone actually tell what patents we're talking about in a nutshell? Reuters was incapable of the obvious.

Well, I'm pretty sure if you do enough digging (Google for info about the nVidia lawsuit, perhaps?) you could come up with the patent numbers, and armed with that information find copies of the actual patents online somewhere. They're probably related to the optimization of signal integrity on high speed DRAM interfaces; IIRC that's what much of the flap was about a decade ago, and they're probably still trying to ride that horse into the sunset.

The patent system is pretty messed up; anyone with a patent attorney can patent practically anything. I'm listed as the co-inventor on a patent my employer got on some fairly trivial aspect of one of the systems I worked on...
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