Thursday, March 16, 2006

Rambus v. Hynix

What is being written . . .

3/14/06 financialexpress.com linked here.

"They want to set the tone going forward. They want to collect on these patents, and if they get a victory here, it's a pretty big stick for them to get others to cave in on licensing," (John) Ward said.

Rambus declines to reveal how much it wants in damages, but says Hynix has roughly 20 per cent of the DRAM market. Since Rambus has collected royalties of 2.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent in other licensing deals, a court victory could mean it reaps up to $210 million, big money for a company that had revenue of $156 million last year.

A courtroom win could also help shake a view that Rambus's business model consists mainly of suing other companies, an image executives complain has dogged it despite the fact that it employs hundreds of engineers and researchers.

3/17/06 Kazinform linked here.

"This case has been developing for a long time, and it would not be the end [of the dispute]," Jin (Hynix public relations official) said. "Even if we win this case, they [Rambus] will come up with similar law suits again and again."

Rambus owns various patents regarding technologies that boost the communications speed of DRAMs, the memory chips used in PCs and many other digital items. Chipmakers such as Hynix and Samsung Electronics have been developing alternative technologies to avoid paying royalties to Rambus.

The stock market has been unfavorable to Hynix regarding the case. Rambus shares have almost doubled since the start of the year in Nasdaq stock market trading. Conversely, Hynix shares have lost more than a quarter of their price in the same period.

3/16/06 Herald News Daily linked here. (Reuters)

Rambus says Hynix sold $4.4 billion worth of DRAM chips in the United States over the past five years, and wants the jury to order it to pay back royalties, which typically run about 5 percent.

"Hynix may contend that the patents were obvious," Rambus attorney Gregory Stone said on Thursday. "The (patent office) examiners looked at everything that was important in deciding that these inventions were new and novel."

Stone also said that during licensing negotiations with Hynix in 2000, the company never objected to the patents.

1 comment:

Empiricum said...

***Stone also said that during licensing negotiations with Hynix in 2000, the company never objected to the patents.***

That, my friends, is a simple case of WAIVER, ESTOPPEL and LACHES.

As a matter of fact, based on the quote (from Mark) that I provided here yesterday, the licensing negotiations went beyond and produced a CONTRACT. Reportedly, Hynix was licensed to produce RDRAM but never produced any. Rather, Hynix produced SDRAM and DDR to circumvent its contract with Rambus. If that was not a ploy, it was a case of BREACH of CONTRACT and UNJUST ENRICHMENT... in addition to PATENT INFRINGEMENT.

These legal principles, including the DOCTRINE OF EQUIVALENTS, likewise apply to Hynix counsel's claim that Rambus' patents are "INVALID." He should have asserted that then instead of now. Hynix slept on its "rights." Besides, patents are PRESUMPTIVELY VALID. Therefore, whoever asserts the "invalidity" must prove it with a "high degree of probability" as the standard of proof!

JMHO.

 
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