Court: Rambus Intentionally Destroyed Documents Proving Its Unfair Intention to Patent Memory Technologies

Court Declares Rambus Patents in Suit Unenforceable in Micron Delaware Case

by Anton Shilov
01/09/2009 | 02:26 PM

Sue L. Robinson, a judge from the U.S. District Court of Delaware, determined that Rambus executed its document retention policy during a time when it anticipated litigation. The court found that the patent infringement matter with Micron Technology has found that Rambus cannot pursue its claims against Micron due to spoliation.

 

Rambus believes that it owns patents on key dynamic random access memory (DRAM) technologies used in SDR, DDR, DDR2 and DDR3 as well as their derivatives for graphics, such as GDDR and newer memory types. The company is seeking to obtain royalties from memory manufacturers as well as from controller developers. However, memory manufacturers claim that Rambus obtained its patents illegally and then intentionally deleted its internal documents proving it.

“We respectfully, but strongly, disagree with this opinion, and at the appropriate juncture plan to appeal, said Tom Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus

Despite of the fact that there are questions to Rambus over the deletion of documentation as well as regarding fair reception of patents, there are a number of court rulings in Rambus’ favour.

“This opinion is highly inconsistent with the findings of the Court in the Northern District of California which looked at the same conduct and found there was nothing improper with our document retention practices. We are confident in the strength of our position and will continue to vigorously pursue fair compensation for the use of our patented inventions” Mr. Lavelle added.

The case with Micron was originally filed by Micron against Rambus in August 2000. The case was split into three separate phases with the first phase concerning allegations of unclean hands and spoliation. Cases are still pending against Hynix, Nanya, Micron, and Samsung in the Northern District of California. These cases concern patents, some of which were at suit in Delaware, as well as additional patents not part of that matter. Additionally, a trial on Rambus’ claims that Samsung, Hynix and Micron illegally fixed DRAM prices and output to eliminate Rambus’ proprietary RDRAM product from the market is scheduled for trial in San Francisco Superior Court in March.