April 25, 2006 – Rambus Inc., Los Altos, CA, has been awarded $306.5 million in damages in its litigation against Hynix Semiconductor, perhaps paving the way for future decisions in similar litigation the company has filed against other chipmakers over use of its memory technology.
A jury in the San Jose division of the US District Court for the Northern District of California found that all 10 patent claims relating to SDRAM, DDR SDRAM, and DDR2 memory products, were valid and infringed upon in the US between June 2000 and the end of 2005. A request for a permanent injunction against Hynix to stop manufacturing, sales, distribution, and import of such products, will be addressed in future proceedings. Hynix has filed counterclaims including challenges to enforceability of Rambus patents, and allegations that Rambus defamed DDR SDRAM or otherwise impeded market adoption of DDR SDRAM.
The case was originally filed by Hynix against Rambus in August 2000, seeking declaratory judgments that 11 patents were invalid and not infringed upon. Rambus has similar patent cases pending against Micron, Samsung, and Nanya Technology, including more advanced technologies used in DDR2, GDDR2, and GDDR3 memory technology. Rambus also has a pending antitrust case against Micron, Hynix, and Samsung, alleging the trio participated in a joint boycott of Rambus’ technology, and conducted a price-fixing conspiracy between 1999-2002.
Earlier this year, Rambus signed AMD to a five-year, $75 million licensing pact to use its memory controller logic, as well as several DDR-related patents and other memory and logic controller interfaces. A similar agreement with Intel is set to expire in June. A similar deal was reached in April 2005 with NEC; Rambus and Infineon settled similar litigation in March 2005 with a licensing deal.