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Infineon damages slashed

Virginia state law cist $3.5m to $350k

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Rambus vs Infineon Infineon will get a mere ten per cent of the punitive damages granted it by the jury in the case brought against the manufacturer by Rambus.

Instead of $3.5 million, the chip maker will receive just $350,000.

Having heard the trial judge, Robert Payne, throw out all of Rambus' 57 allegations that Infineon infringed the memory technology developer's SDRAM patents, the jury went on to support Infineon's counter-claim that Rambus committed fraud.

Rambus deliberately withheld details of its SDRAM patents from JEDEC, the chip industry standards body, the chip maker claimed. Infineon argued that Rambus was obliged to provide JEDEC with full details of its intellectual property. It also said that Rambus modified its patents to include technology it believed JEDEC would incorporate into its standard.

In light of such actions, the jury granted Infineon $3.5 million in punitive damages. However, Virginia state law - the trial is taking place in Richmond, Virginia - applies strict limits to the amount of damages a jury can impose.

And since the jury announced its verdict, Infineon has agreed that the original damages must be cut to $350,000.

Infineon doesn't care, we reckon. It has saved itself significant payments to Rambus by refusing to license the developer's patents. During the trial, University of California at Berkeley professor of business David Teece estimated Infineon would have had to pay Rambus around $430,000 a month for a licence to use the latter's SDRAM IP. ®

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