Rambus won a pretrial ruling that chipmakers infringed one claim, or element, of a patent in a case scheduled for trial in January.
The U.S. District Judge in San Jose, California, ruled
yesterday that chipmakers including Suwon, Samsung
infringed an element of a Rambus patent covering computer
memory. The other companies are Ichon, Hynix Semiconductor
Micron Technology and Nanya Technology.
The judge denied Rambus?s request for similar pretrial
rulings covering 10 other elements of its patents. Those
claims will be argued at the trial covering infringement
claims over DDR2 and DDR3, as well as graphics memory.
The trial against the manufacturers, set for Jan. 19,
follows Rambus?s victory in a patent-infringement lawsuit
this year against Hynix over earlier generations of
memory. Rambus is waiting for a ruling on its request to
block Hynix from selling its DRAM chips in the U.S.
Besides banning Hynix sales, the judge can order the
company to buy a license from Rambus at a rate he sets or
force the parties to agree to one.
Rambus also today announced
that the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a petition for a writ of
certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, seeking to
overturn a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit (CADC) in Rambus' favor.
The CADC expressed "serious concerns" about the evidence
on which the Commission relied for a number of its
findings and held in particular that conduct by Rambus at
a standards setting organization known as JEDEC did not
"We are not surprised by the FTC's filing and we are
hopeful that the Supreme Court will confirm the decision
of the CADC," said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and
general counsel at Rambus. "We will file our response in
the near future, and I note that the rulings of the FTC's
administrative law judge, the CADC and a federal court
jury in March of this year confirm that our position is
the correct one."
In a decision in April of this year, the CADC determined
the FTC failed to demonstrate that Rambus harmed
competition. In March of this year, a Federal District
Court jury found that Rambus did not engage in
anticompetitive conduct and did not commit fraud, mislead
or make misrepresentations to JEDEC.
The FTC brought antitrust charges against Rambus in 2002.
A three-month trial was held in the spring of 2003 before
Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen McGuire, who issued
his initial decision exonerating Rambus with over 1,600
findings of fact in its favor in early 2004. The FTC's own
Complaint Counsel appealed the decision of the fact-finder
to the full Commission, which reversed the ALJ and found
Rambus liable for violating Section 2 of the Sherman Act.