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September 25, 2012

Rambus wins patent infringement case against SK Hynix

The case was first filed in 2000

By CBR Staff Writer

Semiconductor intellectual property licensor Rambus has won a long running patent lawsuit against memory chip vendor SK Hynix,

The judge for Northern District of California (NDCA) ruled that SK Hynix has infringed patents of Rambus and would have to pay Rambus royalty payments for past infringement based on reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) rates.

Rambus senior vice president and general counsel Thomas Lavelle said this is a positive result as it is consistent with what the firm has been seeking all along – reasonable compensation for the use of its patented inventions.

"We appreciate the Court’s extensive efforts in working through years of complex arguments," Lavelle said.

"While this decision does not provide SK Hynix with a going-forward license, we are hopeful it will lead to putting this matter behind us completely and allow us to reach reasonable agreements."

The judge also ruled that Rambus had destroyed documents relevant to patent infringement lawsuit provided by SK Hynix, which would lead to limiting the damages Rambus could receive the case.

Originally, the case was filed by SK Hynix against Rambus in August 2000 and was split into three separate phases.

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During the initial phase, SK Hynix’s allegations were considered that said some of Rambus patents must be unenforceable as part of the doctrine of unclean hands and spoliation.

The second phase saw Rambus’ allegations that SK Hynix memory products had violated its patents and was awarded $397m in damages.

During the third phase, SK Hynix alleged that Rambus has engaged in antitrust and fraud during its participation in a standard-setting organization called JEDEC in the early 1990s, but Rambus won that lawsuit.

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