Infineon freed from future Rambus DDR lawsuits
Judge grants permanent injunction
Rambus may never pursue Infineon for further alleged infringement of its DDR SDRAM patents, a US court has ruled.
Judge Robert Payne issued the permanent injunction against Rambus in response to a request from Infineon.
Judge Payne presided over Rambus' legal assault on Infineon in the Virginia District Court earlier this year - and Infineon's counter-action, which alleged the memory maker committed fraud by failing to reveal its intellectual property rights to the JEDEC committee working on a industry-wide standard from single-data-rate SDRAM. The jury agreed with Infineon's accusation. Consequently, Payne ruled that Rambus could take no further action against Infineon for alleged violation of its single-data-rate SDRAM technology.
However, the way was left open for future action centring on claimed infringement of double-data-rate SDRAM patents. Infineon appears to have complained that since much of Rambus' DDR patents were based on the single-data-rate patents it had fraudulently hidden from JEDEC, it should be protected from lawsuits arising from alleged DDR patent infringement too.
Judge Payne's ruling follows a judgement from fellow District Court judge, Ronald Whyte, this time in Northern California, that Hynix's JEDEC-based single-data-rate SDRAM chips do not infringe Rambus' patents. He will not return to the case until Rambus' appeal against the Infineon judgement that its patents do not cover memory made to the JEDEC specification is heard.
In the meantime, Rambus' third action, against memory maker Micron, is expected to begin next April. It's hard to see that case coming to a conclusion before the Appeal Court issues a judgment, and that isn't expected until late 2002 or early 2003. ®
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