Rambus Loses Trial Against Hynix Semiconductor and Micron

Court: Hynix and Micron Did Not Conspire to Kill RDRAM

by Anton Shilov
11/16/2011 | 02:57 PM

A state court jury in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday rejected Rambus' claims that Hynix Semiconductor and Hynix technologies conspired in the late nineties to fix prices of dynamic random access memory (DRAM) in a bid to prevent RDRAM from becoming an industrial standard. Rambus said it would appeal.

 

"We are very pleased that the jury considered all the evidence at issue in this case and determined that Rambus' allegations against Micron were completely without merit. The jury's verdict validates our assertion that Micron acted in accordance with the law and consistent with its values of innovation and fair competition in the marketplace," said Steve Appleton, Micron's chairman and chief executive officer.

Rambus alleged that Micron, Hynix Semiconductor and others conspired to keep Rambus-designed DRAM (RDRAM) chips out of the memory market. At issue were Rambus allegations that the defendants illegally conspired to constrain availability of Rambus’ RDRAM and keep its prices unnaturally high relative to its competition, while holding competitive DDR pricing low, in an effort to eliminate Rambus’ RDRAM memory technology from the marketplace.

At trial, Micron presented evidence demonstrating that it was design flaws, higher manufacturing costs and other drawbacks associated with RDRAM along with Rambus' business practices that prevented RDRAM from gaining wide acceptance in the market. In a trial presided over by Judge James McBride in California Superior Court in San Francisco, a jury found in favor of Hynix and Micron on all counts.

 “We are disappointed with this verdict as we believe strongly in our case. We thank our legal team and everyone who has supported Rambus in this case over the past seven years. We do not agree with several rulings that affected how this case was presented to the jury and we are reviewing our options for appeal. Regardless of this outcome, we remain steadfastly committed to innovation as Rambus engineers and scientists continue to advance the frontiers of technology for the benefit of our customers and consumers worldwide,” said Harold Hughes, president and chief executive officer of Rambus.