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Register becomes part of Rambus trial

People puzzle is the problematical part

The legal squabble between Rambus and Infineon over who owns the rights to DDR and SDRAM patents has taken a further twist with the Los Altos firm filing a response to witness testimony from Dr P Michael Farmwald and Richard Crisp which seems to fly in the face of evidence we can offer.

According to the deposition, filed on the 2nd of March in the run up to the court case now set to begin on the 20th of March, and which you can find in its entirety here, testimony from ex-Rambus employee Richard Crisp, while being "extrinsic to say the least", is sort of irrelevant anyway because his association with Rambus Ink "ended in 1996".

This may surprise readers of the The Register, who may well recall a piece we filed from the Computex show in June last year entitled Rambus executive kicked out of DDR seminar.

To Richard Crisp's credit, he then took us up on the offer we made to talk to Rambus at the end of this original piece, and in a piece about DDR chipsets called Where the hell are... DDR chipsets, we met two execs from the intellectual property (IP) firm, who had somehow managed to squeeze Dr Tom Pabst of Tom's Hardware between them.

Dr Pabst will remember this incident well, because the younger Rambus executive, like the doctor himself, is a fitness fanatic, and was astonished to find Dr Tom smoking Gitanes.

In short, unless there are two Richard Crisps that have worked for Rambus, the one we met last June is the same witness who the firm said has not worked for the firm since 1996 in its deposition.

At the bottom of page four of the deposition, it states: "Rambus respectfully submits that the testimony of Dr. Farmwald and Mr. Crisp have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the construction that should be given to any term appearing in any claim in the Rambus patent family tree. Instead, Rambus again submits that the specification and prosecution history, ie. the intrinsic evidence, is transparently clear as to the construction that the terms at issue have been, and continue to be, used in the context of the Rambus patents. Resort to the deposition testimony cited by Infineon is not only unnecessary, it would be improper."

We do know that Mr Crisp does not work for Rambus any more, but as far as we were aware, last June at Computex, in the bar of the Grand Hyatt in Old Taipei, he was so doing.

The US press suggested last week that there is a move to settle the Rambus-Infineon case before it starts on the 20th of March.

If not settled, the case may now run as long as three weeks, according to sources close to what's happening. The case is important as it may determine what type of memory - and microprocessor - will dominate PCs over the coming years. And Crisp's evidence is important if the case (and others pending) do go to trial. ®

* It is possible, although improbable, that there are two people with the name of Richard Crisp involved in this case. There are, after all, plenty of people called Mike Magee on the planet.

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