WASHINGTON, Sept 9 Two patents that chip
designer Rambus (RMBS.O) used to win patent lawsuits against
Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ.N) and others have
been declared invalid by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office,
according to legal documents.
The patents are two of three known as the Barth I patents,
which Rambus has used in suing high-tech companies. Rambus'
share price varies sharply on its successes in patent
The International Trade Commission, which hears patent
litigation involving imported products, had ruled in July 2010
that graphics chip maker Nvidia, Hewlett-Packard Co and other
smaller companies had infringed those two patents as well as a
Nvidia settled with Rambus on the issue.
The patent office in early September notified Rambus that
two of the Barth I patents were invalid. Despite the ruling,
the patents will remain valid if Rambus appeals the rejection
to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
"We are confident in the validity of our patents and are
exploring our next steps to seek reversal of these decisions,"
Rambus said in an emailed statement.
A decision on the third patent is expected within months,
said Scott Daniels, a patent attorney with Westerman, Hattori,
Daniels and Adrian, LLP.
The patents were also among six that Rambus used in
accusing a long list of companies of infringing in a new ITC
complaint filed about nine months ago. That complaint was filed
against Broadcom (BRCM.O), STMicroelectronics and MediaTek
(2454.TW), among others.
Rambus, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, is also
locked in a $4 billion antitrust battle against memory chip
makers Hynix Semiconductor Inc (000660.KS) and Micron
Technology Inc (MU.O) in a California state court.
Rambus says South Korea's Hynix and Idaho-based Micron
colluded to fix prices of memory chips used in personal
computers and prevent its technology from becoming widely
(Editing by Gary Hill)