September 30, 2008

Poor Pitiful Rambus [8:03 am]

Apparently, even a court decision can’t clean up certain smells: Chip Maker Rambus Wins Battles, but Faces Bigger War

A wave of recent court victories was supposed to be a turning point for Rambus. In August, a federal appeals court in Washington upheld a ruling throwing out a decision by the Federal Trade Commission that Rambus was guilty of monopolistic behavior in its dealings 10 years ago with the standard-setting group Jedec Solid State Technology Association. But the F.T.C. said last week it may appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

A jury in March in San Jose, Calif., found that the company had not deliberately misled memory chip makers when it patented memory chip technologies while the industry group was deciding whether to make the technologies an industry standard.

Any day now, a federal judge in the San Jose court is expected to decide whether to grant Rambus’s request for an injunction against Hynix, a memory chip maker. And last Monday, yet another trial began in San Jose, this one involving Samsung.

But the victories have not helped much. “Every day we’re amazed at how victories in court don’t necessarily lead to settlements,” said Sharon Holt, Rambus’s senior vice president for worldwide sales, licensing and marketing. “We really need the courts to help force these parties into settlement talks. We’re not having as much momentum in signing new business as we’ve liked.”

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