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FTC to investigate Rambus

Commission to probe Rambus' dealings with JEDEC

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Hyundai's battle with Rambus took on new dimension yesterday when it emerged that the US Federal Trade Commission is to investigate claims that RDRAM maker mislead JEDEC, the memory standards body.

That allegation is central to Hyundai's contention that Rambus has been engaging in anti-competitive behaviour, primarily by manipulating SDRAM intellectual property to encourage take-up of RDRAM.

Hyundai is engaged in legal action against Rambus, which is engaged in legal action against Hyundai, which is engaged in... you get the picture. The Korean company maintains that Rambus didn't reveal its SDRAM patents during JEDEC negotiations, something Rambus was obliged to do under JEDEC bylaws.

Essentially, Rambus is accused of keeping quiet about its SDRAM patents and patent applications when JEDEC was designing and implementing SDRAM as a standard.

That's the focus of the FTC probe, according to EBN. The FTC itself has refused to comment, but EBN learned of the investigation from "analysts and industry executives involved in the JEDEC deliberations [who] said they have been questioned by FTC investigators".

Rambus maintains it did reveal its IP after JEDEC introduced the disclosure requirement in October 1993. Its SDRAM patents date back to 1990. ®

Related Link

EBN's FTC story

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Infineon settles with Rambus, Hyundai

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