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Rambus in Violation of Monopoly Laws 89

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the ram-busted dept.
surfingmarmot writes to tell us that in a recent ruling the Federal Trade Commission declared that Rambus had unlawfully monopolized four computer memory technology markets. From the article: "In an opinion by Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour, the Commission found that, through a course of deceptive conduct, Rambus was able to distort a critical standard-setting process and engage in an anticompetitive 'hold up' of the computer memory industry. The Commission held that Rambus's acts of deception constituted exclusionary conduct under Section 2 of the Sherman Act and contributed significantly to Rambus's acquisition of monopoly power in the four relevant markets. The Commission has ordered additional briefings to determine the appropriate remedy for 'the substantial competitive harm that Rambus's course of deceptive conduct has inflicted.'"
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Rambus in Violation of Monopoly Laws

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  • by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:50PM (#15835346) Homepage Journal

    How many years have we been following this travesty? Seems like 12, but my own (non-SDRAM) memory is a bit fuzzy with age. I recall battles on many fronts, in Europe some shopping for courts in Italy by Rambus while pursuing Infineon, suits in the USA in Virginia which were found against Rambus for the very activity of submarining the patents at JEDEC (Keeping their traps shut while JEDEC members adopted technology standards which played directly into their hands, in violation of the spirit and agreements with JEDEC), then fines against Rambus reduced, then overturned and years of watching Rambus very nearly pull the whole thing off. Finally, the FTC arrives at a decision. Of course, all players in the SDRAM game have been a bit dirty for years, with price fixing and such (isn't it a wonder someone actually makes money on this stuff?) I suppose the bottom-line question is: Will the FTC revoke the patents? (In any case, you know by now that Rambus is actually an Intellectual Property company which is chiefly legal teams, and anything will be appealed.)

    A Pro-Rambus site is here [rambus.org]

    • Whatever, Rambus are idiots. They should have just patented the technology and then sued everyone out of existance. Not proactively suing was their downfall.

      Why risk being an illegal monopoly when the USPTO offers you a perfectly legal way to do so??
      • Whatever, Rambus are idiots. They should have just patented the technology and then sued everyone out of existance. Not proactively suing was their downfall. Why risk being an illegal monopoly when the USPTO offers you a perfectly legal way to do so??

        If you patent technology, you can still be charged with abusing a monopoly if you do not license your patents to competitors.

      • Whatever, Rambus are idiots. They should have just patented the technology and then sued everyone out of existance. Not proactively suing was their downfall.

        Evidently you have missed the recent trend in technology --

        • Patent your idea, in the broadest terms possible
        • Let someone else develop the same idea, or an idea close enough to yours
        • Allow them to deliver product employing these ideas, thus damning them
        • Cry foul and sue for huge damages
        • Profit!!!

        Why risk being an illegal monopoly when the USPTO

      • If the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enacts any financial penalty against Rambus, the penalty will hurt the people who are least responsible.

        Allow me to explain. In the USA, the legal system views a public corporation as a person -- in, for example, a civil suit filed against the company. Civil penalties are generally levied against the company even if the management team which originally made the decision to commit corporate fraud have already left the company. The penalty will not be levied against

    • by Michael Woodhams (112247) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:14PM (#15835509) Journal
      It surprised me. I thought the issue was dead, and RAMBUS had succeeded in their dirty tactics.

      If I interpret this [nasdaq.com] correctly, their share price is down 25% on the news.

    • by deblau (68023) <slashdot.25.flickboy@spamgourmet.com> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:30PM (#15835977) Journal
      Will the FTC revoke the patents?

      The FTC doesn't have that kind of power. Here's what they can do:

      If upon such hearing the Commission shall be of the opinion that the method of competition or the act or practice in question is prohibited by this subchapter, it shall make a report in writing in which it shall state its findings as to the facts and shall issue and cause to be served on such person, partnership, or corporation an order requiring such person, partnership, or corporation to cease and desist from using such method of competition or such act or practice.

      15 U.S.C. 45(b) [cornell.edu]. The FTC said what Rambus' unfair acts were. FTFA: "Rambus withheld information that would have been highly material to the standard-setting process within JEDEC." "JEDEC members acted reasonably when they relied on Rambus's actions and omissions and adopted the SDRAM and DDR SDRAM standards." "Rambus was able to conceal its patents and patent applications until after the standards were adopted and the market was locked in."

      According to the text of the statute, the FTC can order Rambus not to hide their patents any more. That's a pretty hollow victory.

      On the other hand, this ruling shows that Rambus violated antitrust law. That means anyone sued by Rambus for patent infringement has a strong patent misuse defense, which should get the case dismissed almost immediately. Head down to your local law school library and look up: Donald S. Chisum, Chisum on Patents 19.04 (2006). Basically, the upshot is that Rambus won't have its patents thrown out (other people besides JEDEC members could be infringing while not implementing the specification), but at least as regards those implementing the JEDEC spec, the patents will be unenforceable.

      • If I am not misteaken the FTC can also impose a likely corporate-death-sentence grade fine, assuming they see that as an appropriate "remedy".

        They better do it soon, I'm sure the RAMBUS people will play the pump and dump for awhile and clear their positions ASAP.

        Perhaps the FTC can call in their comrades at the SEC for a little consult? ;-)

      • IIRC from various law and IP classes, the FTC has the power to force the party into any behavioral remedy, such as requiring them to license their technologies, as a court allows, which would effectively make those patents accessible.
    • 90% of the chip counts in the Cell Broadband Engine is Rambus technology and is properly licensed. Cell BE also uses Rambus XDR Memory. Rambus has been driving memory technology forward for the past 16 years. Almost everyone else just steals and copies it from them. I thought the tech people in slashdot would know better. DDR is a cheap copycat of RDRAM. How can you explain how PS2 has been running on only 32MB of RDRAM all these years. Do you think PS2 could have run on 32MB of DDR? The DRAM cartel
  • by weasello (881450) <weasel.greensheep@ca> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:53PM (#15835366) Homepage
    With RAM pricing swooping up and down almost as often as Oil does, I'm suprised something like this hasn't come along sooner. Hopefully folks will start "playing nice" now.
    • With RAM pricing swooping up and down almost as often as Oil does

      The price of oil goes DOWN?

      Don't think that will be happening any more.
      • by SEE (7681)
        The price of oil goes DOWN?

        Don't think that will be happening any more


        Yeah! Oil shot up in price in the 1970s due to conflict in the Middle East, and it never came back down then, either! 1985-2003 never actually happened!
        • I hope you're right, but factor in Asia, and I don't think oil will ever be under $60/barrel again.

          Anyway it's just my opinion. :)
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:00PM (#15835423) Journal
    Their absurd pricing has already sent them out of the market...I actually threw away a decent computer because the cost of getting more RAM was too high a percentage of what getting a better computer would have cost. Rambus was always so expensive, that it was installed in such small quantities...All the computers I've ever used with rambus seemed crappy because they generally had half the ram of their non-rambus peers.

    This is just icing on the cake 'o suck they baked for themselves with their crappy behavior.
    • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:30PM (#15835593)
      Of course nobody buys Rambus memory anymore. However, they were successful in extorting licensing fees from a number of other memory manufacturers for "infringing on their IP". So you're indirectly paying Rambus through higher prices for memory. Hopefully, this means the extortion will stop. Rambus can then go back to attempting to sue their potential clients (a la SCO) in order to scam additional licensing revenue. Stick a fork in Rambus if this ruling holds up.
    • You know, maybe it's just me, but I was under the impression RAM was the cheapest upgrade. $600 video cards, $500 dollar motherboards, $200 processors... $250 for a couple gigs of RAM really seemed a bargain.

      But hey, I'm not complaining about it getting even cheaper =)
      • $250 for a couple gigs of *RAMBUS* RAM? Please tell me where.
      • If you're going to buy a $600 video card, you're probably looking at $600+ processors too..

        especially considering you can buy fairly decent cards (dual-head even) for under $50 if you're not a gamer..

        I just bought an ATI X1900GT and even at worst buy that was $349. Although I didn't go crossfire or anything, that's more or less the highest end of the readily available at brick-and-mortar stores card.

        Bottom line, you're correct, ram is fairly reasonable these days, again if you don't care about ECC registere
        • You'd be incongruous too, if said video card was AGP (cursed hindsign), said motherboard was socket 478 Intel-only, and said self was poor after buying said video card to buy a new high-level mobo (the $500 dollar was one I looked at) and a new high-level processor.

          The explanation, then, is that I was pulling numbers out of my ass and thus can't be held accountable =)
          • I've got an Asrock 939 Dual Sata2 (PCI Express -and- AGP) and had an older AGP visiontek radeon 9250 that pooped out on me all of a sudden (after being constantly behind the times in drivers and having a few BSODs signifiying the upcoming hardware failure). I wanted to get back up and running and this time around, I didn't want to settle for a 3rd party manufacturer (visiontek, chaintech, bfg, etc) and wanted pci-express, dual-dvi (especially dual, dual-link). So the ATI X1900GT was an obvious choice, despi
      • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Mistshadow2k4 (748958) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:04PM (#15836729) Journal

        Processor [newegg.com] = $114
        Mobo [newegg.com] = $82.99 + $6.13 S&H
        Video card [newegg.com] = $155.99 + $5.64 S&H
        600 watt power supply [newegg.com] = $69.99 + $8.02 S&H
        case [newegg.com] = $64.99 + $16.21 S&H
        20 gig hard drive [newegg.com] = $79.99

        2x1 gig memory? Here. [newegg.com]

        This isn't even a top-of-the-line system, but good (i.e., best customer-rated) memory is going to cost more than anything else. The cheapest on that page that is rated 5 out of 5 is $174.99, not including shipping.



        • "This isn't even a top-of-the-line system, but good (i.e., best customer-rated) memory is going to cost more than anything else. "

          I have found that for certain applications, better quality RAM leads to more significant gains than incremental processor clock increases. This has been especially true in audio processing, where a faster CPU can be a liability (hotter CPU means more cooling noise, a huge problem in an audio environment).

          Fast RAM, especially with short latency, is a big win for audio and video p
      • People who buy really fast processors, really high end video cards, and really fast bus mainboards, shouldn't skimp on RAM -- you throw away a lot of the gains you paid for, and in some cases you would have made better gains just with faster (and lower latency) RAM in the first place. People tend to not believe this, and I admit that my empirical evidence is limited to a few systems in the audio processing domain. But I still say that commodity RAM is no bargain if you're putting it in a system with a $50
      • To get a half a gig of Rambus for that computer would have cost almost 600 dollars.
    • Let me get this straight. Rambus was found of having an unlawful Monopoly, and yet the market has successfully pushed Rambus almost entirely out of the market. Clearly they weren't a Monopoly to begin with. Does anyone, especially the Government, even know what a Monopoly is?
      • RAMBUS didn't just "produce" RDRAM. It was their intention to move the market for PC's almost entirely to RDRAM through a deal with Intel. Intel was going to implement RDRAM as a market standard, as part of deal, that eventually gave them a big slice of the RAMBUS company. The DRAM manufacturers saw that RDRAM was a propriety development that required them to pay a larger licensing fee to RAMBUS than they could be happy with. If it was adopted industry wide they would have to pay a tax to RAMBUS/Intel j
    • this pricing pissed me off... It was cheaper for me to purchase a new motherboard, processor (2.4GHz Celeron D) and 1/2 gig of ram than it was to upgrade the existing rdram to 256MB from 128MB

      (mind you, I recently rescued that old system and stuck it into a cheapo case and am now using it to "stress test" Linux software in "low" ram. ie. if it's acceptable in only 128MB and 1.4GHz P4 (2000 "vintage" hardware) using KDE or Gnome then it's fine for normal use)

  • by Chas (5144) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:00PM (#15835426) Homepage Journal
    FINALLY has come around.

    This could be the knife to the heart for RAMBUS, as I'm fairly certain a number of DRAM makers are going to be lining up to take shots at them.

    Think "Hysterical Passenger" from Airplane!.
  • by From A Far Away Land (930780) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:03PM (#15835446) Homepage Journal
    The Slashdot front page is filled with crimes holding up progress in the field of computing.

    - Vista tries to pretty up the PC case to shove DRM down our throats, by requiring the purchase of new DRM ready hardware like PVP screens.

    - Rambus conspired to muddy the RAM providing market, so motherboards are made obsolete sooner rather than later, since we have to settle on one RAM standard to upgrade. If we don't have it, then we have to change the whole motherboard and probably CPU too. If it's in a mass produced computer, the consumer has to pitch the computer to upgrade.

    - Apple's DRM found to be hindering customer use of media.

    I wish we'd stop letting companies plan to build in failure mechanisms in their product. I'd pay 20% more for a computer that I knew would have new parts available in 5 years when it starts to legitimately wear out. That extra money could go to the collection of old computers and reusing or recylcing the materials in them in an ecologically sound way.
    • In 5 years? *looks around* I don't think I have piece of computer hardware in this house older than 2 years, except this Logitech QuickCam which still serves as an adequate microphone. Now I know some of you linux users only upgrade your computers when the size of the machine word changes, but for the rest of us having a five year old computer is about as useful as an ass**** on your elbow.
      • The computer industry has changed. A 5 year old computer now can still do most things the aging population of computer users wants to do - email, printing, downloading music.
        In 2000, a 5 year old computer was much less worthy of keeping around, but I'd use a 400MHz Celeron in a pinch these days, and so would hundreds of thousands of people who have nothing close to even that.

        Imagine being told that Quick Cam needs to be thrown away since Windows Vista won't authorize its use because it isn't PVP compliant a
        • This could be true, except the group of computer users to whom you refer already buy the low-tier computer offerings of the major computer companies. These machines are relatively light-weight for our time, much less in 5 years. As the GGPP points out, he'd be willing to pay 20% more for a computer which would still be viable then (i.e. has an upgrade path.) Would those who merely want email, printing and music downloads be willing to splurge now for upgradeability later? Doubtful. Upgrades are not som
        • "The computer industry has changed. A 5 year old computer now can still do most things the aging population of computer users wants to do - email, printing, downloading music."

          Now they want to do audio and video production, and some want to be able to do production at broadcast quality. And they want to store *everything*. And even if they don't realize it, they want to store everything and have it automatically indexed.
      • I don't know what you're doing, but if you're going through computer equipment so quickly that everything is less than 24 months old, that's one expensive hobby that you've found for yourself.

        There's no reason why most equipment shouldn't last longer than that. Heck, I have a Netgear wireless router that's been running continuously for more than five years now (MR314, released in 2001; it's had the same uptime as the power company since then). I have a keyboard that's vintage 1994 (Apple Keyboard II) and un
      • I'm still using the same IBM Model M keyboard since '93.

        I have hardly anything at all from the 8088/86/286/386/486 or Pentium years (cleaned house).

        I do still have my (fully working) Apple II, and I have a large amount of C64 stuff, mainly because I hardware hack
        audio circuits using SID chips, and also, I keep a Moog Song Producer working, because somebody has to. I gave away my Model I TRS-80, and all my Color Computers. No regrets there.

        I've got a 9" monochrome monitor mounted in my rack. Got it from a
      • I also say you're wasting money. Unless you're getting paid to push data through a CPU or hard drive as fast as possible. Then it makes sense to upgrade more frequently (especially now that dual-cores are here).

        Back in the mid-late 90s, your attitude made sense. After all, PCs were doubling in performance every 12-15 months and a 3 year old machine was dog slow and very outclassed by new offerings. (Such as the move from 286 to 386.) Disk sizes were also doubling very quickly. That 3 year old machin
      • I recently bought a new system, not really to replace my 3 and a half year old desktop, or my almost 3 year old laptop, which both still run pretty well. I bought it to take advantage of things like PCI-E, DDR2 and SATA.
        Sure, it's a gaming system, but now I have a PC for Linux or a *ahem* demo of Win 2003 to broaden my skills a bit. Unlike the last time I upgraded, when the old computer just got stripped and tossed in the basement, because it was too old and slow to be useful to me.
    • > I'd pay 20% more for a computer that I knew would have new parts available in 5 years when it
      > starts to legitimately wear out.

      The market has had the space for such a system for a long time, and now that everything is overpowered, there has never been a better time... but the microsoft monopoly and the groupthink that results has made it difficult, because no-one else has produced system software which appears to be that consistent over the same 5+ year period, from the user and also application lev
      • The benefits are many. There would be fewer computers going to the landfill, and sreamlining could still take place, where instead of speed increases, people could benefit from heat decreases. Less heat means parts will last longer, use less electricity, and cooling systems are simplified and quieted. I wish I could pick the ear of a billionaire and make this a reality.
        • You said: "I wish I could pick the ear of a billionaire and make this a reality."; but maybe by making this a reality, you could become a billionaire... or, at least, a thousand-aire (not a word, but it should be) or millionaire.

          DEC started as a "small company", and C was developed for their PDP-11 series, and we still use the stuff with minor modifications... by "small company", the article I read mentioned sales of only 5 million dollars a year. Possibly no-one at DEC made a million personally for several
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt.lynx@bc@ca> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:03PM (#15835447) Journal
    What, didthey collect $200 for passing "Go" when they landed on the "Go To Jail" square or something?
  • Monopoly (Score:5, Funny)

    by Capricous (847089) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:07PM (#15835469)
    Rambus: When I went to jail I passed GO! I want my money! FTC: You have like 4 hotels anyway, get over it! *Rambus throws the game onto the ground* FTC: Hey! That's Unlawful!
  • by renoX (11677) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:08PM (#15835473)
    So on one hand we have memory manufacturers who have colluded to maintain high prices of memory, on the other hand, we have Rambus which has used submarine patents to gain humongous royalties subverting JEDEC process.

    Surprisingly in this case apparently the FTC and the governements appears to do the right thing (if very slowly) and will (hopefully) punish all these crooks.
    Of course in the meantime consumers have payed more that they should have and the punishement will not change this..
    • by ackthpt (218170) *

      Surprisingly in this case apparently the FTC and the governements appears to do the right thing (if very slowly) and will (hopefully) punish all these crooks.

      Todays Lesson: Evil transpires quickly, while Good takes a while to get up, pull it's boots on and do something about it. Whomever is in power may accelerated or retard either.

      Of course in the meantime consumers have payed more that they should have and the punishement will not change this..

      When is this a new thing? I predict the oil com

      • When is this a new thing? I predict the oil companies will be sued in a few years time for activities they are doing now, that the US Federal Government is not noticing. Nobody ever gets their money back.

        Nobody has ever pointed out to me exactly what the oil companies are doing wrong, other than making a lot of money.
        Record profits and revenue don't necessarily indicate they are gouging on prices. Compare Exxon's profit margin (11.3%) vs Citigroup (31%), Cisco (20%). Yahoo! (21%).

    • So on one hand we have memory manufacturers who have colluded to maintain high prices of memory, on the other hand, we have Rambus which has used submarine patents to gain humongous royalties subverting JEDEC process.

      Yeah, I think a lot of people -- investors in particular -- were fooled into thinking that either Rambus was clean or that they were going to come away with the appearance of cleanliness due to them winning quite a few lawsuits vs the RAM manufacturers. I'll admit I was rather taken aback by t
  • Since Monopoly recently started using the Visa swipe cards instead, they can just put it on their credit until the whole thing blows over.

    They probably hope they don't land on the Policeman. It's very hard to roll the dice just right so you can land on the "Just Visiting" space.

    Besides, a lot of people throw out the rules or just make up new ones as they go.

    (I recommend playing as the Top Hat)
  • by mpapet (761907) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:33PM (#15835603) Homepage
    American markets are divided, prices are fixed, supplies are intentionally constrained by global competitors without any punishable Sherman Act violation. They simply do the negotiations in a country that looks the other way. American office doesn't ever know.

    Rambus got penalized because they abused the priviledge. Period.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:44PM (#15835680)
    Rambus invents brilliant technologies and global MM's rip them off and all you Slashdot bandwagonites think that Justice has finally been done and Rambus now gets what they deserve.

    If you believe the old story about how a company of 100 super smart engineers "Tricked" JDEC into using their technology and then sticking them for $$$ later, you are a total sucker!!!!

    Read rambus.org and open your eyes and reconsider your position. Of course, most of you have such inflated egos you will never admit that you were wrong.

    Rambus is an incredible story of American ingenuity. A super small company with big brains and ideas up against the world's largest and most corrupt memory manufacturers.
    • .... Anonymous RamBus Coward.
    • by MULTICS_$MAN (692936) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:56PM (#15836404)
      One of the markets in "Intellectual Property" in which it claims to hold monopoly power due to rightfully issued patents is "clocking technology", specifically for synchronous DRAM busses. Before the Chief Administrative Law Judge appointed by the FTC they made argument of their specific ownership of "source synchronous clocking technologies".

      Does Rambus have any valid patents on source synchronous clocking methods, systems or devices to accomplish that practice?

      I also know what clocking method is employed in Rambus' commercial RDRAMS. Does Rambus have any patents on that?

      Here's what Rambus has patents on:

      "FIG. 8b illustrates how each device 51, 52 receives each of the two bus clock signals at a different time (because of is propagation delay along the wires), with constant midpoint in time between the two bus clocks along the bus. At each device 51, 52, the rising edge 55 of Clock153 is followed by the rising edge 56 of Clock254. Similarly, the falling edge 57 of Clock153 is followed by the falling edge 58 of Clock254. This waveform relationship is observed at all other devices along the bus. Devices which are closer to the clock generator have a greater separation between Clock1 and Clock2 relative to devices farther from the generator because of the longer time required for each clock pulse to traverse the bus and return along line 54, but the midpoint in time 59, 60 between corresponding rising or falling edges in fixed because, for any given device, the length of each clock line between the far end of the bus and that device is equal. Each device must sample the two bus clocks and generate its own internal device clock at the midpoint of the two."

      Ok, so the Rambus devices that are patented generate clocks that are aligned in phase with each other along the extent of the bus.

      A source synchronous clocking system would have clocks that vary in phase along a bus in a fashion nearly equal to the phase variation of the data that are transmitted with the clock.

      Here's what H&F patented:

      "In the preferred embodiment, two sets of these delay lines are used, one to generate the true value of the internal device clock 73, and the other to generate the complement 74 without adding any inverter delay. The dual circuit allows generation of truly complementary clocks, with extremely small skew. The complement internal device clock is used to clock the `even` input receivers to sample at time 127, while the true internal device clock is used to clock the `odd` input receivers to sample at time 125. The true and complement internal device clocks are also used to select which data is driven to the output drivers. The gate delay between the internal device clock and output circuits driving the bus in slightly greater than the corresponding delay for the input circuits, which means that the new data always will be driven on the bus slightly after the old data has been sampled."

      So they use the SAME clock to operate both the input samplers and output drivers in the system they "invented" in 1990 and that everybody and their cat infringes on? Or do you claim otherwise? Did they claim otherwise before the USPTO and in Federal District court?

      Interesting.....

      "One important part of the input/output circuitry generates an internal device clock based on early and late bus clocks. Controlling clock skew (the difference in clock timing between devices) is important in a system running with 2 ns cycles, thus the internal device clock is generated so the input sampler and the output driver operate as close in time as possible to midway between the two bus clocks."

      So "clock skew" is the difference in clock timing between devices? Hummm. They're not suggesting that clocks have no skew from device to device along their Rambus, are they? But that's stupid, because the data that they're trying to latch with their "input samplers" does have timing skew from device to device"

      A source synchronous clocking scheme would have a timing skew due to time of
  • by gweihir (88907) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:55PM (#15835765)
    It has been clear for many years now that Rambus lives by patent fraud. They steal ideas thet are being formulated by others and patent then. They then pressure companies with threat of lawsuits.

    This works because
    a) Patent law is broken. It urgently needs repercussions for fraudulent patents. It urgently needs easier ways to overturn fraudulent patents. It urgently needs to be harder to file a fraudulent patent than to overturn one. And filing a fraudulent patent urgently needs to land the perpetrator in prison.

    b) The lawsuit process is broken. If somebody like Rambus can create a real danger to other businesses with their morally reprehensible and most likely illegal practices, then there is something fundamentally wrong. There have been other instances of this abuse of the legal system recently. Blackberry and SCO come to mind. This kind of abuse urgently needs a risk for those conducting it to land them in prison.

    All in all, the US legal and patent system now seems to be a primary factor in hindering economic growth and innovation. Please fix that system now.

    Side note: If this continues and the EU does not follow this stupidity (a possibility but not a certainity), then the US might just find its place in the global scheme of things adjusted to a place they will find rather uncomfortable.
  • With how cheap it is to buy synchronous ram these days, rambus can't be charging giagantic licencing fees or anything. I commend them for being slimey weasels that were in the loop. At least they were smart enough to abandon thier own architecture when they knew it was destine for faliure. Im not knocking on rdram, just the fact that a slight memory bandwidth improvement would end up costing 30% more on a system purchase when both technologies were in infancy.
  • Five seconds later, Rambus throws a fit and kicks the monopoly board across the room!
  • Rather than strip them of their patents, remove the right to decide who can or cannot license the patents, and take away all royalties. If you make it so that all parties using their patents simply notify them in writing, then they still retain their works and derive future patents off of them. However, they will be constantly reminded of yet another product that they will never get royalties from because of their past behavior. Stretch it back to when the comittee first started meeting at which point Ra
  • Groklaw (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by dido (9125)

    So PJ got married to some Mr. Harbour and went from noted paralegal blogger to FTC commissioner in one fell swoop? And now she's writing opinions on Rambus... Interesting.

  • If you don't want to pay for licensing, stop paying MS. Rambus will continue to make IP for the computer field and companies will continue to try to steal it. Rambus will continue to attempt for over 6 years to convince OEM to pay for the IP before suing them. Why do many of you think that every other company in the industry can make you license their IP but Rambus, who Intel wanted to steal their IP for the price fixing memory cartel, is wrong for licensing theirs?
  • The PS3 uses Rambus memory. This is probably the only design win keeping them afloat. If you really want to bury Rambus then boycott the PS3 and get a 360 or Wii.
  • What a name (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Wansu (846)


    I alaways thought Rambus sounded more like a brand of condoms.

  • If anyone wants to throw their 250 or 500 Mbyte sticks away, let me know. I was ignorant when I bought the motherboard. Please help.

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