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.

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Companies: rambus

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

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35 Comments
via tor says:

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?

dorpass says:

Re: Re: Re:4 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.

angry dude says:

Re: Re: Re:5 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…

Kevin says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

DanC says:

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.

DanC says:

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.

Anonymous of Course says:

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.

Ronald J Riley (profile) says:

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 – http://www.PIAUSA.org – RJR at PIAUSA.org
Executive Director – http://www.InventorEd.org – RJR at InvEd.org
Senior Fellow – http://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.

DanC says:

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.

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