Rambus Inc. and Infineon Technologies AG have hammered out a settlement that will end all
pending lawsuits between the companies.
In addition, the companies will start a licensing agreement for the use of the
Rambus patent portfolio in Infineon productss.
Under the agreement, Infineon, in Munich, will pay a quarterly license fee of US$5.85 million
starting by Nov. 15, and continue through Nov. 15, 2007, the companies said in a joint
statement. After Nov.15, 2007, Infineon will continue to make quarterly payments worth up to
an additional $100 million, but only if Rambus "enters into additional specified licensing
agreements with certain other DRAM manufacturers," they said.
Rambus, which does not manufacture its own memory chips, has contended since 2001 that
Infineon is infringing upon Rambus patents with its SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM)
chips. But earlier this month, Rambus suffered a legal setback when Judge Robert Payne of
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia granted Infineon's request for
dismissal of the case, the second time the case had been dismissed.
Rambus, in Los Altos, California, also took aim at Infineon, as well as Hynix Semiconductor
Inc., Micron Technology Inc. and Siemens AG, in separate suit filed in May of last year. In
that claim, filed the Superior Court for the State of California, Rambus charged the computer
memory vendors of illegally working together to keep Rambus' RDRAM (Rambus DRAM)
product from becoming a mainstream memory technology by restricting prices and production
output in the late 1990s.
As part of the settlement announced Monday, Infineon has granted Rambus a fully paid
perpetual license for memory interfaces, while Rambus licences bought by Infineon get the
status of ?most-favored customer.? Infineon also maintains an option for acquiring certain other
licenses, the companies said.
Representatives from Infineon and Rambus could not immediately be reached for comment.