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HP Patents Hardware

Commission Affirms NVIDIA Violated Rambus Patents 35

MojoKid writes "The International Trade Commission has announced its findings in the NVIDIA/Rambus patent infringement lawsuit, and it's not the sort of ruling Team Green would've preferred. The commission found NVIDIA to be in violation of three Rambus patents. The trade panel also granted an injunction Rambus had requested, which theoretically prevents NVIDIA and the various companies attached to the lawsuit (Asus, HP, Palit, and MSI among others) from selling products that contain the infringing IP. The commission's decision this week affirms a January ruling that saw NVIDIA in violation of three Rambus patents while dismissing two additional claims of infringement Rambus made."
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Commission Affirms NVIDIA Violated Rambus Patents

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  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Wednesday July 28, 2010 @08:31PM (#33064160) Homepage

    I really have to ask something of any engineers reading this who work in R&D- how many of you spend your dev time reading patents to find useful tech you could use in what you're developing?

    Alternatively how many of you avoid doing so at all cost for fear getting 3 times the penalties if someone sues you for something you didn't think your tech infringed but is later found to infringe?

    Engineer working in R&D here; you nailed it with Option B there (and really the whole post).

    I was explicitly instructed by our legal department to never conduct patent searches. The mere act of doing so, even if I never read the relevant patent, could suggest knowing violation and thus treble damages.

    Instead, the lawyer said that when our product unintentionally but inevitably infringes on another company's patent, we sit down across from them with our big pile of patents which is hopefully bigger than theirs and come to an agreement. The main reason we try to acquire such a big pile of patents is exactly for these defensive purposes.

    One thing I'm not sure about is what happens during our patenting process. We write up descriptions of ideas we came up with in the course of designing the product that we think are patentable, and send them off to legal, and they'll send them back to us for editing and such. What they do on their end is what I'm not sure of. I would think they don't do searches for prior art for the same reason we don't, but patents applications are supposed to list relevant prior art and I can't imagine the Patent Office doesn't get suspicious when every single application lists zero prior art. Well, okay, I can imagine that.

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