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Judge: Nvidia infringed on three Rambus patents

A U.S. International Trade Commission judge rules that three of five Rambus patents being examined were violated by the graphics chipmaker.

In an initial determination, U.S. International Trade Commission judge ruled on Friday that graphics chipmaker Nvidia has violated three patents belonging to Rambus.

Nvidia was cleared of infringement by the ITC judge on two other Rambus patents under examination, however. The litigation involves memory controllers--which handle communications between memory chips and other silicon--related to graphics processors.

Rambus first filed patent claims against Nvidia in July 2008. In November of that year, it asked the ITC for an injunction on the import and sale of anything using Nvidia's memory controllers.

"We are pleased with the initial determination from the ITC finding [of] two patents invalid but disappointed about its ruling on the other three patents," David Shannon, Nvidia's executive vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. "All five of the patents continue to be subject to re-examination proceedings in the Patent and Trademark Office, in which the Office has consistently found the asserted claims of these patents to be invalid. We will now take the patents before the full commission for a final decision on whether any of these patents are valid, enforceable, and infringed."

Rambus was most recently in the news earlier this week, when it settled another long-running patent dispute--this time with Samsung Electronics, for $900 million.