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Rambus loses patent fight

Will appeal

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Rambus vs Infineon Rambus, the pugnacious memory IP designer, has received a bloody nose its US court fight against Infineon, with the judge dismissing the three remaining patent claims against the German chipmaker.

"We are disappointed with the court's decision," said Rambus CEO Geoff Tate."If today's decision is allowed to stand, all companies that innovate risk having their intellectual property rights unjustly expropriated."

Rambus says it will appeal the ruling.

Rambus is the designer of RDRAM, a high-speed memory technology recommend by Intel for the Pentium 4. The company has sought to extend its patent and royalty remit over DDR SDRAM, a competing and cheaper memory design, and many DRAM makers have succumbed to its demands. They will now be considering renegotiating those royalty payments.

Rambus originally brought claims of 57 patent infringements against Infineon. All but three were thrown out earlier this week by Judge Robert Payne, of the US District Court for the eastern district of Virginia. Infineon argued that Rambus had used improper methods to obtain patents which could be applicable to DDR SDRAM. It appears that Judge Payne agrees.

This is not the end for Rambus, but it does appear to be the beginning of the end of the legal wars. There are some more infringement cases pending against chipmakers in the US and Europe. The precedent set by Judge Payne does not bode well for the company, or its shareholders. ®

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