Rambus stuns world+dog with Infineon court victory

More comebacks than Lazarus


Rambus, the disgraced fast memory chip designer, is whiter than white after all. A Federal appeal court has overturned an earlier verdict that the company had committed fraud in seeking royalties from Infineon for patents relating to DDR SDRAM.

And it says the trials court was mistaken in its verdict that Rambus did not have a valid patent infringement claims against Infineon. Most crucially, the Appeals court ruled "substantial evidence does not support the implicit jury finding that Rambus breached the relevant disclosure duty during its participation in the (JEDEC) standards committee."

Upshot: the case is pinged back to the junior court for a retrial. The damages awarded against Rambus and an injunction in place against the company are now removed. The Appeal Court's ruling is here. And Rambus's press release is here.

What an astonishing turnaround. If Rambus can persuade the US judicial system that it conformed to JEDEC rules it stands to make a fortune. *

The company still has many more sessions in court to face, as well as the formidable Federal Trade Commission. It will be interesting to see, in the light of the appeal verdict, if the FTC revises its opinion that Rambus "deliberately engag(ed) in a pattern of anticompetitive acts and practices that served to deceive an industry-wide standard-setting organization, resulting in adverse effects on competition and consumers".

*
In an earlier version of this article we wrote that Rambus had submitted technology for inclusion
in DDR. This was a slip of the brain on our part for which we are truly, madly deeply sorry.

Below is the correct state of play, supplied by reader Rick Nielsen.

Rambus was not a member of JEDEC at any point in
time during DDR standardization. Quoting from the
Appeals court opinion, "Rambus attended its last
JEDEC meeting on December 6, 1995, and formally
withdrew from JEDEC by a letter dated June 17, 1996.
JEDEC did not begin formal work on the DDR-SDRAM
standard until December 1996. JEDEC adopted and
published the DDR-SDRAM standard in 2000."

www.fedcir.gov/opinions/01-1449.doc

The features of DLL, PLL, and differential signaling,
were included into the DDR standard after Rambus left
JEDEC. These are some of the same technologies used by
RDRAM and described in Rambus' WIPO patent application
which was disclosed to JEDEC in 1991. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes
    How? Founder tells The Register 'Robots… lots of robots'

    Imagine a future where racks of computer servers hum quietly in darkness below the surface of the Moon.

    Here is where some of the most important data is stored, to be left untouched for as long as can be. The idea sounds like something from science-fiction, but one startup that recently emerged from stealth is trying to turn it into a reality. Lonestar Data Holdings has a unique mission unlike any other cloud provider: to build datacenters on the Moon backing up the world's data.

    "It's inconceivable to me that we are keeping our most precious assets, our knowledge and our data, on Earth, where we're setting off bombs and burning things," Christopher Stott, founder and CEO of Lonestar, told The Register. "We need to put our assets in place off our planet, where we can keep it safe."

    Continue reading
  • Conti: Russian-backed rulers of Costa Rican hacktocracy?
    Also, Chinese IT admin jailed for deleting database, and the NSA promises no more backdoors

    In brief The notorious Russian-aligned Conti ransomware gang has upped the ante in its attack against Costa Rica, threatening to overthrow the government if it doesn't pay a $20 million ransom. 

    Costa Rican president Rodrigo Chaves said that the country is effectively at war with the gang, who in April infiltrated the government's computer systems, gaining a foothold in 27 agencies at various government levels. The US State Department has offered a $15 million reward leading to the capture of Conti's leaders, who it said have made more than $150 million from 1,000+ victims.

    Conti claimed this week that it has insiders in the Costa Rican government, the AP reported, warning that "We are determined to overthrow the government by means of a cyber attack, we have already shown you all the strength and power, you have introduced an emergency." 

    Continue reading
  • China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D
    Because Beijing isn't above covert ops to accomplish its five-year goals

    Chinese cyberspies targeted two Russian defense institutes and possibly another research facility in Belarus, according to Check Point Research.

    The new campaign, dubbed Twisted Panda, is part of a larger, state-sponsored espionage operation that has been ongoing for several months, if not nearly a year, according to the security shop.

    In a technical analysis, the researchers detail the various malicious stages and payloads of the campaign that used sanctions-related phishing emails to attack Russian entities, which are part of the state-owned defense conglomerate Rostec Corporation.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022