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Excerpt From The FTC Trial Against Rambus

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the tangled-web-we-weave dept.

Patents 11

An anonymous reader writes "Some of the trial transcript from the FTC action against Rambus hit the stock-chat boards at Yahoo today. As is well known, the FTC is prosecuting Rambus for having been a member of an industry standards-setting group called JEDEC, while at the same time filing patent applications on material they knew would become valuable because of JEDEC's work. JEDEC's rules required Rambus to disclose their patents, which they did not do, hence the FTC brought charges. In the above URL, however, testimony from the chairman of the JEDEC committee that Rambus was attending is revealed. In it, he admits under cross that *he himself* is a patent holder on (get this) a pinout that was adopted by JEDEC as a standard. And, amazingly, he didn't disclose it to JEDEC before it was adopted. In fact, he says he didn't even known he was a named inventor. Good stuff." (You'll need to keep pressing "Next" to get to more of his testimony.)

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11 comments

unfortunately, this won't make much of a dent (2, Insightful)

rumpledstiltskin (528544) | more than 11 years ago | (#5926720)

in popular press. while this is the IP equivalent of a presidential bj, it's not the kind of thing of which people will sit up and take notice. why? because most people in america don't know the difference between memory and a hard drive, call their computer cases modems (true story), and their monitors TVs (another true story)

Re:unfortunately, this won't make much of a dent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5929829)

your analogy is wrong. the presidential BJ, it is meaningless. Oh no, a politician's morals are brought into question.

That is quite a bit different from large scale fraud which results in other companies ability to sustain business.

Who's Fred Hager? (1)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | more than 11 years ago | (#5926818)

It's not nice to post only a portion of a trial transcript -- especially if it's a portion that supports your position. Safe to assume FredHager.com (the apparent poster of this information) has a large stake in Rambus?

Some Stock #'s (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 11 years ago | (#5926947)

5-year stock prices [yahoo.com]
5-day stock prices [yahoo.com]
Insider & Restricted Stock Sales [yahoo.com]

FTC investigation or not, it looks like the company and the exec's aren't having any money problems. and i love how they've got their own mini-flame [yahoo.com] wars going on. check out the parent of that message, it's just as funny

HaHa Trolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5926990)

looks like you FPing jerkoffs were asleep for this one

Corruption (1)

TamMan2000 (578899) | more than 11 years ago | (#5927580)

Is it just me, or is the submittor trying to make it sound like Rambus corruption is OK, cause JADEC is all corrupt? If so, that is really lame...

Re:Corruption (4, Insightful)

amorsen (7485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5927656)

The problem is that apparently noone signed a paper with the rules for patent disclosure at JEDEC. The rules were supposedly agreed to verbally. This does not make the rules any less valid, but it is a problem to prove that the rules existed. When it suddenly turns out that the chairman himself did not follow the rules, the existence of the rules is in serious doubt.

No matter what happens, it is obvious that what Rambus did was very sleazy. It is not, however, obvious that they were sleazy in an illegal way. It is not even obvious that they were the sleaziest company of the bunch in JEDEC.

It all reminds me of a bunch of card sharks cheating and winning the shirts off of everyone else. Yet another clueless player shows up, and proceeds to win a fortune from them by cheating in a new and inventive way. Then the sharks call the police, complaining about the cheating...

The whole thing makes me sad.

Re:Corruption (1)

jon787 (512497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5929038)

Love the card shark comparison, if I only had my mod points :(

I'm gonna be saving that for future quoting.

Slow day huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5927602)

NOBODY CARES ABOUT RAMBUS ANYMORE.
"rambus is going to die. it's to expensive, proprietary, intel is moving away from it, etc..."
then why are we still talking about it? either buy the goddamn mobo's and ram or leave it alone.

pros:lots of bandwidth
cons:expensive, high latency

three choices, pick two

Re:Slow day huh (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5937827)

So somebody doesn't try to get away with something similarly scummy in the future? Slapping down on scummy patent abuse is a good thing, regardless of whether the patent is on an "active" product.

non-obviousness. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5928002)

What I love about this whole transcript is the bit where he is saying that he cannot recall that he is one of the inventors of the patent. He specifically says at one point that "pinout is pretty simple" implying that it was such a simple and trivial thing that it did not deserve to be remembered.

Well if it is so simple and trivial, then how the blazes is it patentable!! That's the problem with the whole patent system. The patent office is a wholesale clearinghouse for little monopolies handed out to anyone who can pay. The non-obviousness thing has been twisted up so badly that the "expert in the field" it is not supposed to be obvious to has to be a drooling idiot. How can this ridiculous state of affairs go on? Billions of dollars that could be spent on real research are being wasted on lawyers instead, and for what?!?! The big companies use their patent portfolios to crush small competitors and establish truces with other big fish. It is not what the patent system was developed for (the modern one at least, traditional lettres patent were all about establishing monopolies in business for the wealthy and corrupt). It all just makes me sick.
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