ITC backs Rambus against Nvidia

Rambus which apparently is “one of the world’s premier technology licensing companies” has just announced that the International Trade Commission has given Nvidia a good kicking for nicking its technology.

Although the full ruling has not been released, the ITC has affirmed the findings of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and issued a limited exclusion order against Nvidia.

Rambus said that the “value of our patented inventions has been recognized by our current licensees, and we will continue our efforts to license others.”

On November 6, 2008, Rambus filed a complaint with the ITC requesting an investigation pertaining to certain Nvidia products. Rambus wanted an exclusion order barring the importation, sale for importation, and sale after importation of products that infringe nine of Rambus’ patents.

As you would expect these included GPUs, application processors, media and communications processors, and chip sets which incorporate infringing memory controllers.

People shipping the gear included Asustek, Asus, BFG , Biostar, Diablotek, EVGA, G.B.T, Giga-Byte , HP, MSI, Micro-Star, Palit Multimedia, Pine Technology and Sparkle.

On January 22, 2010, the ALJ issued an initial determination finding two Rambus patents to be not valid. The ALJ further determined three Rambus patents valid, enforceable and infringed by everyone listed.

A limited exclusion order will bar the importation of the respondents’ infringing products into the United States, as well as cease and desist orders barring respondents from selling any infringing products that were previously imported into the United States.

It could be a real mess for Nvidia unless it comes to the party and agrees to pay Rambus large sums of money to go away. We are expecting further announcements later today.