US FTC drops Rambus antitrust case

The Supreme Court upheld an appellate ruling against the agency in February, effectively ending the DRAM-related suit

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has officially dropped its antitrust case against memory maker Rambus, after losing a U.S. Supreme Court case in February.

The FTC announced late Thursday that it has dismissed the case, in which the agency accused Rambus of gaming a DRAM (dynamic RAM) standards setting body.

The Supreme Court in February rejected the FTC's request to continue the case by upholding an appeals court ruling against the FTC.

The agency, in mid-2006, charged Rambus with engaging in an illegal monopoly, saying the company failed to disclose its patents on DRAM-related technology while working with the standards-setting organization the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) to create royalty-free or low-royalty standards for DRAM technology.

"While we remain disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeals, we of course respect the court's opinion and will move forward," Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.

"The standard-setting issues that were at the heart of this case remain important, both as a matter of antitrust policy, and in order to protect consumers, and we will remain vigilant in this area."

Rambus said it was pleased to see the end of the antitrust case.

"Rambus has prevailed on similar JEDEC-related claims at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in front of a jury, and before a federal district court," Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

"The FTC's decision to drop its remaining JEDEC-related claim against us was the right one."

The appeals court had suggested the FTC presented weak evidence against Rambus.

Several other memory makers had urged the FTC to press forward on the case in an attempt to reduce royalty fees associated with Rambus' technologies.

Rambus and other memory vendors continue to have outstanding civil lawsuits against each other related to memory licensing.

The FTC brought antitrust charges against Rambus in 2002. After a trial, the full commission reversed a decision by Chief Administrative Law Judge Stephen McGuire, who ruled for Rambus in early 2004.

In early 2007, the FTC required Rambus to license its DRAM chips to other vendors, and it capped the royalty fees Rambus could charge.

Also in February, a U.S. district court ruled that Hynix Semiconductor must pay Rambus a prior damage award plus a licensing fee on nearly every DRAM memory chip it makes.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legaldramantitrustrambusftc

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?