Rambus Cleared in SDRAM Suit

A federal court of appeals Wednesday threw out a lawsuit against Rambus over its role in developing DDR SDRAM memory technology.

The origninal suit (Rambus v. Infineon) and appeal filed by rival Infineon claimed Rambus committed fraud while working with the JDEEC Solid State Technology Association – a standards-setting board.

Short for Synchronous DRAM, a type of DRAM that can run at much higher clock speeds than conventional memory. SDRAM actually synchronizes itself with the CPU’s bus and is capable of running at 133 MHz, about three times faster than conventional FPM RAM, and about twice as fast EDO DRAM and BEDO DRAM. SDRAM is replacing EDO DRAM in many newer computers.

The U.S. Court in Virginia reversed the original trial court decision and affirmed the trial court’s original finding that there was no fraud relating to a standard called “DDR SDRAM.”

In its decision, the Federal Circuit also determined that the terms “integrated circuit”, “bus” and “read request” as used in Rambus’ patents have their ordinary meaning and, accordingly, set definitions for these terms largely consistent with Rambus’ original position. Furthermore, Rambus won’t have to pay Infineon $7 million in legal fees.

Representatives with Infineon were not available for comment.

Rambus, which specializes in high-speed chip-connection technologies, said it is pleased by the ruling.

“Today’s rulings are not just about Rambus,” said John Danforth, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Rambus. “They greatly illuminate a wide range of issues related to standards setting and intellectual property. We believe that the Federal Circuit has done a thorough job of clarifying these issues and that their work merits close attention.”

Shares of Rambus stock shot up 57 percent to $11.69 on the news.

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