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Thursday, December 30, 2010
ITC To Inverstigate Rambus' Claims On Semiconductor Patents

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has voted to institute an investigation of memory controllers as well as products containing them such as motherboards, modems, routers, and computers, after a Rambus complaint.

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Rambus, Inc., of Sunnyvale, CA, on December 1, 2010. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain semiconductor chips and products containing same that infringe patents asserted by Rambus. The complainant requests that the USITC issue an exclusion order and cease and desist orders.

The USITC will inverstigate the memory controllers as well as motherboards, modems, routers, and computers that include such chips made by Freescale Semiconductor, Broadcom Corporation, LSI Corporation, Mediatek, NVIDIA, STMicroelectronics, ASUSTEK Computer Inc. Biostar Microtech, Elitegroup Computer Systems, EVGA Corporation, Giga-byte Technology, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, MSI Computer Corporation, Seagate Technology, Zotac and others.

As always, by instituting this investigation , the USITC has not yet made any decision on the merits of the case. The USITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge will assign the case to one of the USITC's six administrative law judges (ALJ), who will schedule and hold an evidentiary hearing. The ALJ will make an initial determination as to whether there is a violation of section 337; that initial determination is subject to review by the Commission.

The USITC will make a final determination in the investigation at the earliest practicable time. Within 45 days after institution of the investigation, the USITC will set a target date for completing the investigation. USITC remedial orders in section 337 cases are effective when issued and become final 60 days after issuance unless disapproved for policy reasons by the U.S. Trade Representative within that 60-day period.

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