Virginia judge Robert E. Payne ruled this week against Rambus and in favour of memory maker Infineon by dismissing the former's patent claims against the latter due to destruction of certain key documents related to the case by the Los Altos, California-based technology firm Rambus. The company said it would appeal.
The ruling that dismisses Rambus?five-year-old patent infringement case with Infineon and relates to SDRAM and DDR DRAM memory products is in one of four currently pending U.S. patent cases involving Rambus. The judge stated on the record that it was his intention that his ruling be limited to the parties before him. The court previously ruled against Rambus on other grounds, and those rulings were reversed in 2003 by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The rulings came after the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to the Eastern District of Virginia for trial of Rambus patent claims.
“We look forward to eventually presenting our patent claims on the merits so our contributions to the industry and the value of our inventions are clear. In the meantime, we feel we have a strong case on appeal,?said John Danforth, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.
“We are gratified that the Court determined that Rambus?litigation misconduct should not be rewarded,?Infineon said in a statement.
The court further ruled that it would dismiss Infineon's monopoly claim against Rambus as moot. The court also indicated that it will issue a written ruling and decide how to proceed with the remaining claim in the Virginia action, which may be tried next week, and is a claim by Infineon against Rambus for purported violation of California Business and Profession Code Section 17200.
Rambus claims it owns patents on key-technologies used in modern dynamic random access memory that is deployed in every single computer sold. The company is trying to force all makers of DRAM to pay royalties to Rambus for every single SDRAM, DDR SDRAM and DDR2 SDRAM chip sold. However, numerous memory makers and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) act against Rambus.
FTC states that Rambus joined memory-standardization committee JEDEC and then patented technologies discussed during the meetings violating the rules of the organization. FTC called the practice “fraud?and “illegal monopolization? Memory makers say Rambus has purposely destroyed documents allegedly reflecting the firm's business plan of the time the firm was in the JEDEC that involved suing memory makers for using Rambus?patented technologies.
Rambus denies all the accusations saying that it had never violated any JEDEC rules as there were not clearly set in the mid-nineties, furthermore, the firm claims it had demonstrated its technologies to certain companies before joining JEDEC. Rambus says the documents destroyed were wiped out because of normal practice to get rid of outdated documents.
In other pending litigation, Rambus is asserting a larger set of patents against a larger set of products manufactured by Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Inotera Memories, and Nanya Technology Corporation. Rambus also has a case pending against Micron Technologies.
- Rambus Sues Memory Makers Over DDR2, GDDR Products.
Rambus Files Legal Actions Against DRAM Manufacturers
- Elpida Admits to Pay Rambus for All Types of DRAM.
Memory Maker Extends Agreement with Rambus
- Rambus Accuses Micron, Hynix, Infineon, Siemens of RDRAM Fiasco.
Rambus Files an Anti-Trust Suit
- Rambus?Revenues Continue to Soar.
Company Continues to Receive Royalties for Technologies, DRAM
- European Patent Office Revoked a Rambus' Patent.
Rambus Loses Memory Related Patent
- Rambus Reported Increased 2003 Earnings.
IP Company Declares 20% Revenue Growth
- Micron Technology May Admit Price-Fixing Actions.
Rambus May Benefit