Court Denies Rambus Patent Claim Again

For a second time, a U.S. judge has shot down an appeal by Rambus
in its patent infringement case against Infineon
Technologies .

The five-year-old lawsuit is based on Rambus’
claims that its German rival copied its SDRAM and DDR
DRAM memory designs and began using them without paying
licensing fees. The rulings came after the Court of Appeals remanded the
case back to the Eastern District of Virginia.

U.S. District Judge Robert Payne said this week’s dismissal was partially
based on Infineon’s argument that Rambus destroyed documents
pertaining to its corporate patent strategy.

Infineon spokesman Christoph Liedtke said the company is relieved that
the matter is behind it for now.

“Infineon is pleased that the court has found that Rambus’s egregious
conduct, including shredding key documents, failing to produce evidence,
and testifying falsely under oath … was so improper as to warrant the
dismissal of all of Rambus’ remaining patent claims in this case,” Liedtke said.

“Infineon has proven by clear and convincing evidence that Rambus is
guilty and liable” for having “unclean hands,” a Bloomberg News story
quoted Payne saying. The report also said Payne would submit a longer
reason for his decision at a later date.

Rambus General Counsel John Danforth said his company plans on
submitting yet another appeal.

“We look forward to eventually presenting our patent claims on the
merits so our contributions to the industry and the value of our
inventions are clear,” Danforth said in a statement.

The company said it may have a case because the court previously
ruled against Rambus on other grounds — rulings that were reversed by
the Court of Appeals in 2003.

This Infineon lawsuit is one of four currently pending U.S. patent
cases involving Rambus. The company is also suing Hynix Semiconductor, Inotera Memories and Nanya Technology after it claims as many as 18 Rambus patents started showing up in devices that are currently shipping.

Rambus also has a patent infringement case pending against Micron
Technologies .

However, if the Virginia case involving Infineon holds on the basis
that Rambus destroyed documents, it may dismantle Rambus’ assertion that
its rivals are conspiring against it.

Rambus accused Hynix, Micron, Infineon and Siemens of
price fixing and conspiracy to drive its RDRAM technology
out of the market.

The $1 billion antitrust case is being held in California Superior
Court in San Francisco, where Rambus had filed the complaint 10 months
ago. The U.S. Department of Justice is also looking into the charges of
collusion.

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