In February, the FTC capped the royalties that Rambus could charge on several patents essential to two SDRAM standards. As expected, Rambus appealed. But what do you do with those excess royalties while the appeal proceeds?
Last August, the Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to find semiconductor designer Rambus, Inc. guilty of abusing the standards system, but deferred a penalty verdict pending further testimony and deliberations. In February they issued their verdict, and capped the royalties that Rambus could earn to license its SDRAM patents to implement the JEDEC standard at issue. It could have been worse for Rambus – and almost was, with two out of five Commissioners filing an opinion advocating a harsher penalty.
The first draft has been released, and all are welcome to comment.
Five years and tens of millions of dollars of legal bills later, it’s over for the two primary combatants in the JEDEC/SDRAM standards patent war. But there’s plenty of cleaning up left to do.
Last year, we reported on a new bill that would amend the National Cooperative Research and Production Act to allow traditional SDOs to better protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits. Now it’s about to be signed into law, and it appears that consortia will suffer as a result.
The standards community lost a friend when it lost Kate McMillan on May 21, 2003.
Following a flurry of activity regarding the April issue of the Consortium Standards Bulletin with ANSI’s help, language was added to the Congressional Judiciary Committee Report accompanying H.R. 1086, which seeks to prevent the Bill from negatively impacting non-SDO standard setting organizations.
The new patent policy adopted by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) seeks to ensure that recommendations and standards developed by the organization will be implemented on a Royalty-Free basis.