It looks like Rambus is up to its old tricks again.
The self-styled "technology licensing" company has announced that it's heading back to the court house to file patent infringement actions against a number of major technology companies.
Among the unlucky few caught in Rambus' sights this time are Broadcom, Freescale, LSI, MediaTek, STMicroelectronics and NVIDIA. At this point we have to feel bad for the GPU-maker, which only wrapped up another Rambus patent infringement suit - which it lost - a few months ago. In fact, it's those same 'Barth' patents that the other five companies have allegedly infringed. In addition, Broadcom, Freescale, LSI and NVIDIA are alleged to have infringed the separate 'Dally' family of patents.
The technologies covered by the patents include some components of the "PCI Express, certain Serial ATA, certain Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), and DisplayPort interfaces" and certain products incorporating "DDR, DDR2, DDR3, mobile DDR, LPDDR, LPDDR2, and GDDR3 memory controllers". Accordingly, the application will cover "graphics processors, media processors, communications processors, chip sets and other logic integrated circuits" and products such as "personal computers, workstations, servers, routers, mobile phones and other handheld devices, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, motherboards, plug-in cards, hard drives and modems". So pretty much computer or gadget. Ever.
Rambus is essentially seeking to ban the import of any infringing goods, or the sale of any such imported goods, into the US until the defendants cough up the license fee.
The company's CEO claims that the lawsuits are the only way that it can protect its valuable intellectual property. However, given Rambus' history of starting - ahem - "vexatious" legal action, it's tough to tell how valid these claims might be. Nonetheless, we're sure that the defendant companies will waste no time in calling their lawyers after the recent ruling against NVIDIA.
The ITC is expected to make a decision on whether to further investigate these claims in the next 30 to 45 days.