Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



Jury Has No Problem With Rambus Patent Tricks; But Let's Wait For The Appeal

from the ain't-over-yet dept

Rambus really is a fascinating company. Almost no one denies that it pulled some sneaky tricks in making sure that they had patents that covered a DRAM standard -- but the question was whether or not those tricks were actually illegal. The EU and the FTC both decided that Rambus' actions were illegal, but the company just kept hiring lawyers and has now convinced a jury it did nothing wrong. This isn't a surprise as juries almost always side with patent holders, in part due to the great American myth that a patent is a wonderful thing not to be questioned. But, Rambus is extremely premature in announcing: "This ruling should put to rest a series of ongoing allegations Rambus has endured for many years." Hardly. There will be appeals that are going to drag this out even longer. In the meantime, we fully expect angry Rambus investors to complain about this post again as they've done in the past. After that post, someone sent me an angry email saying that I had been reported to both Rambus and the feds for slander. I'm still waiting for the lawsuit.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    mike allen, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 2:29am

    as said before

    someone said in a previous post get a gun and shoot a lawyer today seems to apply here too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 2:41am

    Mike you black-hearted bastard..... ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Kevin, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 3:12am

    Rambus investors?

    Well, just keep in mind that SCO had tons of investors who thought very highly of their nonsensical business strategy too, until the courts pointed out how full of crap they were. Of course, the rest of the technology world already knew that.

    I think that the problem is that there are two "worlds" colliding here. You have technical people who actually understand the issues and can see how obviously wrong both SCO and Rambus are. Then you have the non-technical world where the courts are, where a little fast talking razzle dazzle can get you whatever sort of legal judgement you want.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Ben Smith, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 4:55am

    Slander?

    It's only slander if it isn't true...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 5:04am

    If one does a little research on the FTC they will find how dirty their hands were.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Ben, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 6:07am

    You can't slander someone in a writing

    Putting aside the fact that the "feds" are unlikely to be interested in an accusation of slander, there is still the fact that you can only slander someone by saying something defamatory. If you write/publish something defamatory then it is libel not slander.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 6:23am

    Does anyone know...

    Have the standards comities altered their policies
    to reduce the chances of Rambus style scummy tricks
    in the future?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    A little reminder

    Just to remind you, techdirt lemmings, that Rambus patents were originally issued to Rambus founders Dr. Mark Horowitz and Dr. Mike Farmwald for their original groundbreaking inventions.

    For more reading:
    rambus.org
    rambus.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    via tor, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 6:44am

    Re: as said before

    someone said in a previous post get a gun and shoot a lawyer today seems to apply here too.

    mike,

    Why did you post this comment? I mean, what effect are you hoping for?

    If all you want is sympathy, then you can have some: I agree that the legal profession has lost all ethics and decency, and it needs outside reform now.

    Alternatively, if you're trying to incite someone to shoot a lawyer today, then I don't think it's going to work.

    So, tell me mike, what exactly are you trying to achieve with that comment. What is the reaction that you want from readers?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 6:52am

    Re: A little reminder

    Ans another highly contributory posting by everyones favorite shill/troll, AD.

    rambus - Just when I thought they were dead and gone.
    I suppose zombified remains of SCO will linger on forever also. I never did understand why they wanted other peoples brains. I guess it is because they do not have one.

    Oh yeah, one more thing ... jury of their peers.
    I doubt it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re: A little reminder

    Hey, punk

    Did they do a lobotomy on you, poor little creature ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    DanC, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 7:28am

    Re: A little reminder

    And during the JEDEC meetings, there were multiple efforts made to compile a list of relevant patents that may have an impact on the standards produced.

    The Rambus representative at JEDEC, Richard Crisp, responded with this:

    Regarding patents, I have stated to several persons that my personal opinion is that the Ramlink/Synclink proposals will have a number of problems with Rambus intellectual property.
    ...
    At this time, Rambus elects to not make a specific comment on our intellectual property position relative to the Synclink proposal. Our presence or silence at committee meetings does not constitute an endorsement of any proposal under the committee's consideration nor does it make any statement regarding potential infringement of Rambus intellectual property.


    So, Rambus made a vague assertion of probable IP infringement, but refused to give any specifics. Not exactly helpful when the committee is trying to develop a standard for the industry.

    They then attended one more JEDEC meeting, and then dropped out when they realized that they could be held accountable for trying to enforce non-disclosed patents as a member of a standards board.

    There's further evidence that they were going to game the standards process. Their business plan 1992 - 1997 (while they were members of the JEDEC), written by their CEO Geoff Tate, included this gem:

    [W]e believe that Sync DRAMs infringe on some claims in our filed patents; and that there are additional claims we can file for our patents that cover features of Sync DRAMs. Then we will be in position to request patent licensing (fees and royalties) from any manufacturer of Sync DRAMs.

    They participated in the standards process, became stubborn and uncooperative when it was evident that open standards (and not Rambus' own proprietary RDRAM) were going to be implemented, held up the standards process with vague IP claims (and refused to discuss specifics), actively filed additional patent claims on proposed standards, dropped out of the standards board, and then sued the manufacturers of SDRAM.

    Hopefully this decision gets overturned on appeal, and the FTC and EC hold their ground.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 7:38am

    Re: A little reminder

    A shovel full of coals for your head,
    Angry Dude.

    Technically, Rambus had a good thing.
    Their patents are sound. It's the way
    they handled their business that sucks.
    Entering into industry wide standards
    development in bad faith.

    It wasn't as case of poor beleaguered
    patent holders beset by greedy corporations.
    It's greedy, duplicitous patent holders,
    or their business associates, getting their
    just rewards.

    A groundbreaking invention killed off
    by greedy weasles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: A little reminder

    Another abortion victim ?

    What is your f****** problem, dude ?

    Why are you not trusting the jury decision ?
    The jury people were informed much better than any of us about all of the shitty details and reached their decision.
    Live with that, punk

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 7:44am

    Re: Re: A little reminder

    WTF are you, a Micron executive ?

    Rambus patents are alive and well
    and you're getting your lobotomy tomorrow. Doctor's order!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    DanC, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re: Re: A little reminder

    Rambus was found guilty of fraud by a jury back in 2001, and their patent claims against Infineon were thrown out. I'm sure you fully agreed with that decision, so your support of Rambus here is confusing.

    I find there's little point in arguing with you...Rambus is yet another of your beloved "little guys" and is thus, in your eyes, incapable of doing anything wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: as said before

    I think someone should shoot this guy too. He sounds like a lawyer trying not to sound like one, so he'll probably be taken care of anyway ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 8:46am

    Re: Re: Re: as said before

    Poidi prospis' urod
    Tvoe mesto vozle parashi
    Der'mo, merde, shit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 8:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    Poidi prospis' urod
    Tvoe mesto vozle parashi
    Der'mo, merde, shit


    That's unfortunate that a Russian can be that devoid of reason and can only throw cuss words out to support his non existent point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    That's just to reflect the level of "discussion" on this shitty blog filled with lies and corporate propaganda

    Lunch time, techdirt lemmings !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 9:34am

    Re: Re: Re: A little reminder

    An attack on the person rather than their arguement. Good show of your lack of communication skills there, angry dudette.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Joe Smith, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 9:35am

    Libel defence

    I think that if Mike is sued for libel, he should call Angry Dude as a witness to testify that no right thinking person would believe Mike's posts and so there can be no libel ;-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    ehrichweiss, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    And yet, YOU still come here.

    You seem to think this blog is the equivalent of visiting 2girls1cup except, and I love this part, YOU KEEP COMING BACK TO READ IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. Talk about lemmings all you want, that's the true definition of insane.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    DanC, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 10:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    filled with lies and corporate propaganda

    Says angrydude, who has continually spread both lies and propaganda.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    That's just to reflect the level of "discussion" on this shitty blog filled with lies and corporate propaganda

    Well, it only reflects on your mental capacity and has nothing to do with the discussion, seeing how you just ramble off on your own.
    Come to think of it, you are probably hampered by the education you got in Vinnytsia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 11:12am

    Re: Slander?

    Its not slander if it was written that would make it liable its only slander if spoken.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    angry dude, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    hey smartass

    where did you get your education ?

    Community college for retarded victims of incest in rural mid-west ?
    gee, this place is worse than slashbot
    I have a spitting reflex every time I read the shitty techdirt articles and following comments
    gotta clean my monitor again...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    dorpass, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 4:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: as said before

    where did you get your education

    Considering your reaction, Vinnytsia was a good guess. And a "spitting reflex" has got to be a reaction worthy of a retard. Explains why you are so familiar with where they go to as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2008 @ 6:00pm

    I wonder why AD does not like Slashdot.
    Could it be that they ripped him a new one ?
    Maybe it is the moderation system AD is not fond of.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), Mar 28th, 2008 @ 3:03am

    Rambus-techDIRT head where the daylight does not s

    I believe that it is Micron and a group of like minded patent pirating companies operating as the Coalition for Patent Fairness, aka the “Piracy Coalition” who are bad players. Rambus and the people who invested in the company are victims of these unethical companies.

    Piracy Coalition members either produce no inventions or small incremental inventions. Some Piracy Coalition members started as true innovators but have lost the ability while others have been parasites on inventors from their inception.

    I routinely deal with inventors who produce significant inventions. I want to make it very clear that Rambus produced important brilliant breakthrough inventions and that they were immediately attacked by vested interests who had inferior technology. It is my opinion that Micron has been a parasite from its inception and that Micron’s conduct is unacceptable in civilized society.

    Rather a company is past its prime and unable to produce significant inventions or as I believe is the case with Micron was never able to produce significant inventions they inevitably resort to filing massive numbers of insignificant incremental improvements in an attempt to compensate for their inability to produce. They are about quantity over quality.

    What they are good at is questionable political activity and creative (with the facts) public relations campaigns. This is in my opinion the case with all the members of the Piracy Coalition.

    They leave no political trick left unturned, including lobbying the FTC, the FDA, the USPTO, etc. to carry their water.

    These issues are important to every citizen of the US. The reason is that in the absence of intellectual property products and service tend to become commodity items with razor thin profit margins. Such businesses cannot afford to pay well.

    Conversely, with intellectual property margins are much higher and the businesses based on patent property rights can pay living wages.

    If the Piracy Coalition has their way with patent deform it will be the end of America being a land of opportunity.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    DanC, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 6:27am

    Re: Rambus-techDIRT head where the daylight does n

    That's a nice bit of propaganda. Do you have any actual research or facts to back up your opinion, or is it just baseless speculation?

    Rambus produced important brilliant breakthrough inventions and that they were immediately attacked by vested interests who had inferior technology.

    Actually, Rambus went on the attack after dropping out of the JEDEC, and proceeded to file lawsuits against its members. Of course, while a member, Rambus refused to provide any details concerning what IP rights of theirs might be infringed by the proposed standards that Rambus was participating in creating.

    They simply acted in bad faith while a member of the JEDEC. When a court ruled that Dell could not enforce patent rights it had failed to disclose to a standards board it belonged to, Rambus quickly dropped out of the JEDEC. Please stop pretending that Rambus has some sort of higher moral ground here. As their business plan from 1992-1997 showed, they had every intention of gaming the standards process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Willton, Mar 28th, 2008 @ 12:51pm

    Re: Rambus-techDIRT head where the daylight does n

    I'm all for strong patent laws, but I think Mr. Riley might want to take off the tin-foil hat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    John Doe, Mar 29th, 2008 @ 11:09pm

    RAMBUS IS SO GOING TO LOOSE IN APPEAL

    Dude, what are they thinking, just cause a jury said yes, a judge will be stupid enough to make that same mistake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Gordon, Mar 21st, 2009 @ 8:55pm

    Rambus

    You can't be charged with slander for being totally misinformed. Time will tell though which side is right. As for me it's a great lesson in how politics and the justice system go hand in hand sometimes. Also how long shit can be tied up in the justice system. Like the Exxon fiasco...18 years for justice...what a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    greg, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 6:09pm

    Re: A little reminder

    I love how you use Rambus as a source to your attempt at playing defense for Rambus - nice work....real convincing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This