After many years of observation, we could never figure out what business Rambus, Inc. was really in, but it now dawns on us that they may just be serial litigants.
REUTERS reports that Rambus filed a new patent suit against memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc. after a Delaware court lifted a stay preventing the company from bringing new litigation against Micron.
We suppose that life in the big glass castle on Camino Real in Los Altos is just a bit too laid back and sterile to stay on the sidelines and create better technology. Or maybe they just wanted to give Rod Lewis of Micron a little heartburn.
As an aside, the IdeaCop(tm) staff had used Rambus memory years ago and compared its performance to DDR memory only to conclude (in a very unscientific study) that the DDR chips seemed to work better, or at least no worse, not to mention that DDR chips cost a fraction of the price of the Rambus chips. Perhaps that dawned on Rambus too and they just figured that hitting it big on a patent case or two would be more rewarding to the shareholders.
At the risk of putting the reader to sleep, we will try to show the convoluted pedigree of ONE of the patents in play, namely US Patent No. 6,182,184.
"This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 09/252,998, filed on Feb. 19, 1999 U.S. Pat. No. 6,032,214 which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/979,127, filed on Nov. 26, 1997 (now U.S. Pat. No. 5,915,105), which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/762,139, filed on Dec. 9, 1996 (now U.S. Pat. No. 5,809,263); which is a continuation of Application Ser. No. 08/607,780, filed Feb. 27, 1996 (now abandoned); which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/222,646, filed on Mar. 31, 1994 (now U.S. Pat. No. 5,513,327); which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/954,945, filed on Sep. 30, 1992 (now U.S. Pat. No. 5,319,755); which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/510,898, filed on Apr. 18, 1990 (now abandoned). "
WHEW! Are these lawyers getting paid by the word, hour, or what? To their credit, they managed to continue the case so many times that perhaps they actually just wore out the USPTO and got the patent issued. Is the examiner still alive? Maybe that was the impetus.
WAIT! Come to think of it, is there a pattern here? Are they trying in court what worked for them in the USPTO, i.e., if at first you don't succeed, just try, try, again?
To be perfectly honest, this case is so massive and complicated, a single IdeaCop(tm) review will probably not do it justice. Having said that, why shouldn't we try to knock a few ions out of the crystal lattice of the folks in Los Altos? Does not the First Amendment demand that we stoke the fires of useful discourse?
Well we will try, by putting together some potentially relevant prior art references for the '184 patent in the attached file for your use.
The Plaintiff's Attorneys involved in this case are
James J. Elacqua
Dewey Ballantine LLP
1950 University Avenue
East Palo Alto, CA 94303-2225
Dewey Ballantine LLP
401 Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701-3788
Kent Richardson, VP IP
4440 El Camino Real
Los Altos, CA. 94022
BTW and as a further aside, Mr Hubert's firm photo makes him look especially intimidating and we suppose that that may have been but one factor in his selection as Counsel in this matter.
And not wanting to leave the defendant out in the cold:
Roderic W. Lewis, VP & General Counsel
Micron Technology, Inc.
2125 Onel Drive
San Jose, CA 95131