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7/27/2010
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Nvidia Loses Patent Fight With Rambus

The International Trade Commission will issue a Limited Exclusion Order against Nvidia barring the company from importing products that infringe on Rambus patents.

The International Trade Commission is preparing a ruling that would bar Nvidia from importing into the United States products infringing on the patents of technology licensing company Rambus.

Rambus said Monday the ITC has notified the company that it will issue a Limited Exclusion Order against Nvidia, which will also be barred from selling infringing products previously imported in the country. The final ruling will be released at an unspecified date.

The ITC notified Rambus, which has sued Nvidia for patent infringement, that the commission "has affirmed the findings of the administrative law judge, with certain modifications." The changes in the judge's findings won't be known until the final ruling is released.

The judge in January found that two Rambus patents were not valid, but determined that three others were valid and infringed upon by Nvidia.

To avoid the ban on importing and selling products in the U.S., Nvidia can post a bond equal to 2.65% of the value of the imports. The bond would be in effect while the ITC decision is reviewed by the Obama administration over the next 60 days.

Nvidia did not respond to a request for comment, but will pay the bond, according to a report from financial news agency Bloomberg.

Rambus sued Nvidia two years ago in a northern California federal court, alleging the latter company infringed on 17 Rambus patents, including chipsets and graphics processors with memory controllers.

During lawsuits, it is not unusual for companies to seek importation bans from the ITC. Apple and Nokia, for example, have both turned to the ITC in their patent-infringement suits against each other. Those cases are pending.

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