Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rambus loses patent case against Hynix and Micron

Once a leading innovator in memory technologies, now a patent troll, Rambus has just lost a major lawsuit against Micron and Hynix. Ever since DDR-SDRAM came out, Rambus, inventor of RD-RAM dragged most memory and x86 chipset manufacturers to court over violation of their patents (w.r.t RD-RAM and XDR related patents that they have been holding) . This happened in 2000 and most memory manufacturers settled with Rambus by paying heavy royalties.

Rambus followed up these lawsuites with another lawsuit against the big four memory manufacturers Samsung, Infineon, Hynix and Micron allegeing them of price fixing to drive RD-RAM out of the market (damages around $4 billion in sales, seeking $12 billion in damages). In 2005, Infineon paid Rambus $150 million while Samsung paid $900 million in 2010 ending their court trials with Rambus while Hynix and Micron decided to settle the matter in court. The trial started in 2011 and yesterday, the verdict came out (9-3 votes) ruling the case in favour of Hynix and Micron.

Whatever the other memory manufacturers did in the past, it is a real shame that Rambus board turned their company into a patent troll, relying heavily on revenues from these patents and lawsuits instead of trying to take the battle to competitiors using their R&D ability. No wonder that their stock value dropped by 60% immediately after yesterday's verdict.

No comments:

Post a Comment