back to article EC accuses Rambus of 'patent ambush'

The European Commission has confirmed formal "patent ambush" charges against US memory chip designer Rambus. In a Statement of Objections issued to Rambus on 30 July 2007 the EC alleged that the firm had claimed "unreasonable royalties" for the use of certain DRAM chip patents. It said that "Rambus engaged in intentional …


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  1. Simon

    Shocking !

    Rambus ? Say it isn't so !

    Pass the smelling salts dear, I feel another fainting spell coming on.

  2. Mark Scorah

    Am I the only one

    that thought that they should change their name to Rambush

  3. Ian Michael Gumby

    This is a bit of old news...

    Ok, maybe not the EC action, but ever since Rambus went after the patent claims, the standards committee had been all over it.

  4. A. Merkin

    How the Naughty Have Fallen

    Wow, first SCO, now Rambus. Could Microsoft be next?

  5. Eugene Goodrich

    Right quick, these EC types?

    It seems to me that this was a blowup a year or three ago. Why is the EC just getting to it now? Is that just how fashionably they like turning up to the party?

  6. Reg Sim

    Took there sweet time about it.

    There is many things I think the EC should of taken action on, and many things they have not.

    So it may of taken the life times of several thousand may flies but at least there 'getting it on' now with Rambus, who in my biased opinion should get told to go play on a rail track. Any company that uses the standard should not have to pay Rambus , however i see no problem with company's that do not use the standard paying Rambus for the right to use there technology's.

    I just hope the EU's in charge can keep that other silly idea the hell out of dodge, which would be IP.

  7. kain preacher

    wow way late

    States side the courts invalided their patents and fined them

  8. yeah, right.

    any relation to Microsoft and OOXML

    I wonder if this is what Microsoft is hoping with their OOXML pseudo-standard, that requires the indepth knowledge of their proprietary formats in order to implement it? Perhaps they were hoping that enough suckers would try to implement it, then go after them for the necessary fees for their "intellectual property"?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Truth, anyone?

    Funny thing is that Rambus didn't have any "relevant patents" to disclose when SDRAM/DDR standards were discussed. They have invented fast memory in 1990 and they've been teaching memory manufacturers how to make it, under NDAs. They then have been invited to join JEDEC because of their expertise, seemingly. They have left a few years later after realizing that their inventions were being hijacked and incorporated into the standards, by the very memory producers they've been teaching. Everybody knew what Rambus invented but some didn't want to pay royalties. So they pretended not to remember where the inventions came from and accused Rambus of deceiving a standard-setting organization. And called in the government. Isn't that a wonderful way to strip somebody of patent rights? It's cheap too. That may have been the real reason behind JEDEC invitation.

    Also funny is the fact that JEDEC continues to openly incorporate additional Rambus inventions into its new standards, DDR2, DDR3, GDDRx, etc. A decade after Rambus left. Nobody was able to come up with anything better, so they just take more of what works. US FTC only limited royalties on the old SDRAM/DDR standards. The mainstream has long moved to DDR2. Of course, big memory companies wanted free unlimited use of all Rambus inventions. They didn't get it. The little they did get is under appeal. What will the EU Commissioners be left pointing to if FTC is overturned?

    Indeed, there was a patent ambush. Only it was the other way around. Certain memory manufacturers ambushed Rambus in attempt to strangle it, so they could use its IP for free. Although unfortunately the "savings" didn't reach the consumer, as these companies were convicted by DOJ of memory price fixing. So for a long time consumers paid inflated prices for stolen, stripped down designs, without even knowing it. The memory in your computer could have been 10 times faster, just look at Rambus's XDR memory design. If there were no Rambus, it would quite possibly be 10 times slower. Is 1-4% royalty for inventions facilitating 100x faster memory "unreasonable"?

    Innovation is being strangled in front of your eyes, people. Wake up.

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