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November 20, 2012

US court to review Elpida Memory’s planned patent deals

Elpida had filed for bankruptcy protection in February this year

By CBR Staff Writer

A US Court will review bankrupt Japanese chip maker Elpida Memory’s planned patent deals.

In July this year, US based semiconductor firm Micron Technology had agreed to acquire Elpida for $2.5bn, to expand its position in the market for memory chip used in computers and mobile devices.

Elpida, which has a debt of $5.3bn, had filed for bankruptcy protection in February this year.

US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi ruled he will take a second look at patent deals that Elpida has signed with technology licensing firm Rambus.

The Wall Street Journal reported, according to Sontchi, the US bankruptcy law that is safeguarding Elpida’s US assets while it works out its financial troubles in Japan doesn’t bind him to automatically go along with the Japanese courts on matters involving assets within the US borders.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the fight in the bankruptcy court was about more than the patents that were sold to Rambus.

In October this year, the Tokyo court overseeing Elpida’s bankruptcy filing had approved the company’s restructuring plan, which depends on the sale to Micron.

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A rival bondholder proposal which would have provided voting creditors a second option failed to get the clearance from the Tokyo court.

Voting on the proposal will continue until February next year and if Elpida secures required support for its plan, the company will then ask the Tokyo court for final approval.

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