Rambus wins memory patent trial

An appeals court has ruled that Rambus did not engage in anticompetitive behavior or violate antitrust laws related to on-chip memory technology

Memory company Rambus won a patent case against rival memory makers on Wednesday when a court ruled that the company did not engage in anticompetitive behavior or violate antitrust laws related to on-chip memory technology.

The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose ruled that Rambus did not violate procedures established by memory standards-setting organization Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), as alleged by memory makers Micron Technology, Nanya Technology, and Hynix Semiconductor.

The memory makers alleged that Rambus illegally deceived members of JEDEC and monopolized markets for computer memory technologies by failing to disclose its DRAM patents while working together with JEDEC to create royalty-free or low-royalty DRAM standards.

"This ruling should put to rest a series of ongoing allegations Rambus has endured for many years," said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus, in a statement. The Rambus patent controversy has been subject to many lawsuits from rival memory makers, with cases against Hynix, Nanya, Micron and Samsung pending in U.S. courts.

Micron plans to appeal the jury decision because it is inconsistent with previous decisions by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission, the company said in the statement.

In 2006, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission found that Rambus illegally monopolized markets by failing to disclose its DRAM patents with JEDEC. Rambus appealed the decision.

The European Commission in 2007 issued a preliminary Statement of Objections that Rambus violated EU competition law by not disclosing that it owned relevant patents during the development of the DRAM standard.

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