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Rambus, a global technology licensing corporation, appeared before the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals this week in a patent infringement case involving graphics chip maker Nvidia.
The two companies were in the court for oral arguments on Thursday in a dispute about whether Nvidia "infringed Rambus patents for controlling and managing the flow of computer data to and from a chip's memory," reports Reuters. The International Trade Commission (ITC) previously found that Nvidia infringed Rambus chip patents, and issued an order barring the importation of any chip made with the infringing technology.
On Thursday, however, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals focused its attention on Rambus. In September, the patent office notified Rambus that two of its patents were invalid; the same two patents that Nvidia infringed, according to the ITC. This week, Rambus appealed the rejection.
The three-judge panel honed in on two issues: whether Rambus used the patents that it was trying to defend, and whether it destroyed documents that would have adversely affected its case.
A company must use a patent domestically in order to defend it before the ITC. Rambus asserted that it can defend the patents because it licenses them.
Document destruction could prove to be a more contentious issue for Rambus. Judge Kathleen O’Malley questioned Rambus’ strategy of producing and preserving the relevant documents, claiming that Rambus did not know which documents it had destroyed, reports Chicago Tribune.
Judge O’Malley went so far as to accuse Rambus of intentional document destruction, a claim the company previously encountered in 2009 during another patent infringement case in Delaware.
For more news and information on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, check out FindLaw’s Federal Circuit blog.