General discussion


Rambus wins against large memory maker Hynix

By Dr Dij ·
rambus has struck again. Expect predatory rambus patent lawsuits to raise DRAM memory prices 1 or 2$, the royalty they're forcing companies to pay. They won a $306 million lawsuit against Hynix. (see TR news item) This will hurt the industry in general, only helping their investors. (including Intel, who's laying off people anyway)

This company skunked the IEEE by patenting DRAM designs proposed for the standard, and now DDRAM is popular as lower cost alternative to their own RAMBUS memory which is slower (serial) - see performance reviews at tomshardware.com

I believe in IP but in this case they did something slimy here. Good luck to the rest of us who will pay for their greed and shady dealings.

Note: I may have been too hasty. I don't know. From what I heard, they did not say they had a patent to the IEEE standards committee (which they were on). their overpriced and overhyped rambus serial memory is a separate issue from whether they had a valid patent that was stolen.

See tomshardware.com about the hyping of their memory, which tended to perform the same as ddram, and costs way more. I guess this had left a bad taste in my mouth but is not illegal to sell expensive, badly performing memory. Caveat emptor.

some other discussions:


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by gralfus In reply to Rambus wins against large ...

In my most humble opinion... Rambus is evil, and any victory on their part is cause for mourning by geekdom. They knew bloody well what they were doing, but apparently the judge couldn't or wouldn't see that.

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You have no clue

by morganf In reply to Grrrr

Rambus invented brilliant and novel ways of making memory faster. A small company of only 200 employees. The big memory manufactures stole it and didn't want to pay and thought they could just litigate them to death. Rambus prevails and is winning in every court. Yet you think a single judge sided with them. If you actually paid attention, you would see the latest victory was a friggin' jury of 10 ordinary citizens who got to here the entire story. And yet, you still think rambus are crooks!! AMAZING! What planet are you on? read all about it at www.rambus.org and then actually try to come up with your own thoughts because you sound like the typical slash-dot punk.

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Ok, sorry.

by morganf In reply to You have no clue

I didn't mean to call you a slash dot punk. I actually read /. a lot but I'm livid about the FUD spread around about RAMBUS. They are not evil. They are super-geniuses who keep on innovating in spite of hanging on for their lives. And now justice has been served and everybody thinks they are a bunch of patent trollers, etc. This is a very long and complicated story and in my opinion, is turning out to be a great american success story.

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Ok, I'll look into it further

by gralfus In reply to Ok, sorry.

Yours are the first comments I've ever seen legitimizing their claims (outside of Rambus themselves). All I have ever read on it indicated they had taken part in an open forum, but them patented the ideas once they were accepted, thus guaranteeing themselves control of the market. I will do some more reading.

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the DRAMURAI were the thieves, always...

by llsdjs In reply to Ok, I'll look into it fur ...

Well, the facts are sorta like that, but RMBS applied for their patents YEARS before the Dramurai discussed the SyncDram concepts in the JEDEC meetings. RMBS was INVITED to the JEDEC meetings BY THE Dramurai, who always planned to steal the technology & invalidate the RMBS patents by maneuvering RMBS into a position where it appeared they'd gotten information FROM the Dramurai... the real case was the DRAMURAI were the thieves; that's just been proven in a very competent US Fed Cir court before a very attentive and intelligent jury. The Dramurai now clearly see the path before them leads to HADES and BIG $$ paid to RMBS for willfull infringement.

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exactly wrong - Rambus finally sees justice

by dbkk In reply to Rambus wins against large ...

you have it completely wrong. do the research. smoking-gun evidence in trial reveals by 1992 dram co's knew rambus patent-pending (at that time - since issued) inventions from 1990 were fundamental to all future hi-speed memory interfaces, and they wanted to find a way to escape paying.

dram co's then invited rambus to join JEDEC in mid-90's to attempt to trick the company into invalidating patents. when rambus realized this, they withdrew without invalidating anything or in any way violating any law. next dram co. step was to infringe, litigate, and delay in hope they could drive rambus out of business due to lack of funds. none of this worked as companies with integrity (intel, IBM to name a few) understood the value and enforceability and signed licenses. btw, see the guilty pleas, fines, and executive jail terms of the same dram co's handed out last year for their price fixing activities - same lack of ethics at work.

hynix result is the 1st result of justice at last finally starting to occur ... 16 years later (subject suit was filed by hynix in 2000). if you have any regard for the fundamentals that made the U.S. what it is since it was founded 200+ years ago, you should be cheering this result.

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well reasoned

by Dr Dij In reply to exactly wrong - Rambus fi ...

I might have to change my mind.

I'm just po'd at overly vague and prior art patents that US has been issuing and companies enforcing.

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Rambus patents not vague - fundamental to hi-speed memory

by dbkk In reply to well reasoned

I understand your feeling. Glad to see your openness.

Rambus in fact is the opposite of vague - Farmwald and Horowitz really did invent a fundamental leap forward and did it in such detail that Intel built a test-chip to verify in the early 90's; it worked so well that it was judged quite ahead of it's time, not needed until late 90's (which is curiously when the infringing products went to market).

This same detail allowed the dram co's to steal and implement very successfully as the basis of sdram, ddr, ddr2, gddr, etc. (Rambus implementation rdram was defeated in late 90's / early 00's by same cartel collusion as revealed in the price fixing guilty pleas. An antitrust trial against the same dram players is moving forward in SF as we speak).

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Nothing vague about these patents

by atridi In reply to well reasoned

These patents were far from vague or trivial. In fact, their new memory was so radical and included so many changes to the "status quo" that the patent office refused to grant a patent on the original application and told Farmwald & Horowitz they had not one, but several patents here and to go back and break it up into its individually patentable ideas. That's how JEDEC/Dramurai were able to incorporate part of it - SDRAM, incorporate more - DDR, incorporate still more - DDR2, etc.

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Slightly before my time.

by Absolutely In reply to Rambus wins against large ...

By the time I was buying separate memory modules, etc., instead of Gateway systems pre-assembled, Rambus was effectively off the market. Still, I'll say that companies have the right to control their property, including imposing non-disclosure agreements as a condition of employment. If their competitive advantage was gotten illegally by their competitors, this judgement is probably too little, too late to accurately be called "justice".

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