Court Reschedules Rambus Patent Hearing

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Rambus on Wednesday said that a U.S. federal appeals court has rescheduled a hearing in the company's patent infringement cases with rivals Hynix Semiconductor and Micron Technology.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., has rescheduled hearings for Oct. 7. Rambus has been involved in long-standing disputes with Hynix and Micron over patent infringement as well as antitrust issues.

In August 2000, Hynix filed suit against Rambus in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In March 2009, the court entered a final judgment of US$397 million in favor of Rambus against Hynix. In April 2009, Hynix filed its notice of appeal.

In August 2000, Micron filed suit against Rambus in the U.S. District Court for Delaware. In January 2009 the court ruled in favor of Micron, saying that Rambus' patents were not enforceable. Rambus appealed that decision.

Rambus is a licensing company that develops technologies that enable high-speed memory architectures for use in high-performance devices. Rambus' XDR memory architecture, for example, is used in Sony's PlayStation game console.

Rambus in the past has targeted many other memory makers in lawsuits. Rambus in 2004 filed a price-fixing case against Samsung Electronics, Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon and Micron Technology, accusing the companies of violating antitrust laws by fixing memory prices to keep Rambus technology away from the market.

Memory companies in turn alleged Rambus of monopolizing markets and failing to disclose its patents with the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), the standards-setting organization. Rambus was originally invited to JEDEC as an observer, but memory makers alleged that the company used information from the meetings to monopolize markets.

In January this year, Samsung Electronics and Rambus announced they had settled outstanding claims over licensing in a deal that should net Rambus more than $700 million over the next five years.

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