Chip patent litigation overview

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Chip patent litigation overview

If the rash of recent chip-related lawsuits has left you somewhat bleary, a well-penned perspective by a Reuters correspondent might help. He invokes the idealism of the 70s when computer developers willingly shared information while reminding us that Texas Instruments, holder of the basic Kilby patent on integrated circuits, is still suing Japanese chipmakers over past royalties with only months before the patent expires.

He also puts the Rambus lawsuits into a larger perspective by quoting an analyst from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter who says that “(Rambus) management has been quite clear that they will not license any company that they defeat in court.” This aspect of the current lawsuits further highlights how much is at stake as Rambus holds so many basic patents that it might, if it wins and follows through with such threats, put much of the chip industry out of business in retaliation for challenging its patent claims.

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