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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?