Rambus is set to get about $349 million from Hynix Semiconductor based on a “final judgement” rendered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Tuesday.
Hynix was also ordered to pay the Los Altos chip designer royalties on a range of products it sells from the end of January through April 10, 2010, according to a release Rambus filed Wednesday with the SEC.
Execution of the judgement was stayed for 14 days so that Hynix could file a motion seeking relief from the final judgement pending an appeal.
Ironically, the judgement grew out of a case originally filed by Hynix against Rambus in August 2000 that was eventually split into three separate phases, all of which Rambus won.
Hynix had claimed that Rambus’ patents were invalid “based on the doctrine of unclean hands,” alleging that Rambus effectively interfered with the production of evidence that would have supported Hynix’s position, a claim repeatedly rejected by the court.
The second phase dealt with Rambus’ allegations that Hynix memory products infringed its patents. In April 2006, a jury unanimously found that “all ten Rambus patent claims at issue in that trial are valid and infringed by Hynix memory products. The jury award of approximately $307 million in damages for U.S. sales of infringing Hynix products through December 31, 2005, was subsequently reduced by the Court to approximately $134M.”
In the third and final phase of the case, Hynix, along with other chip makers, tried its remaining claims and defenses against Rambus including antitrust and fraud claims based on Rambus’ participation in a standard-setting organization known as JEDEC. In March 2008, a jury found Rambus had acted properly during its participation in JEDEC, finding that the evidence supported its finding ‘that JEDEC members did not share a clearly defined expectation that members would disclose relevant knowledge they had about patent applications or the intent to file patent applications on technology being considered for adoption as a JEDEC standard.’ The Court further found that ‘not only did Rambus not have an obligation to disclose pending or anticipated patent applications, it had sound reasons for not doing so.’”