Patently Slow

Further delays by the International Trade Commission panel tasked with resolving a two-year patent battle between Rambus and Nvidia underscore how difficult it is to determine cases involving highly technical IP – and also why the rules need changing.

The stakes are so high, when Samsung settled with Rambus in January, it agreed to pay $700 million in cash over five years – and buy a big stake in Rambus.  Now the ITC wants to know how that deal might affect the rest of the case.

That’s reasonable, I suppose, but in the meantime, electronics designers face the no-win choice of either designing in chips known to be part of a patent dispute, or finding something (probably) less desirable as replacement.

And who do you think pays in the end?

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About Mike

Mike Buetow is president of the Printed Circuit Engineering Association ( He previously was editor-in-chief of Circuits Assembly magazine, the leading publication for electronics manufacturing, and PCD&F, the leading publication for printed circuit design and fabrication. He spent 21 years as vice president and editorial director of UP Media Group, for which he oversaw all editorial and production aspects. He has more than 30 years' experience in the electronics industry, including six years at IPC, an electronics trade association, at which he was a technical projects manager and communications director. He has also held editorial positions at SMT Magazine, community newspapers and in book publishing. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Follow Mike on Twitter: @mikebuetow