Supreme Court Denies Infineon; Rambus Case Proceeds

By Mark Hachman  |  Posted 2003-10-07 Print this article Print

The Court's decision is but the latest gambit in the ongoing patent litigation between the two companies, which dates back to August of 2000.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a writ of certiorari to Infineon Technologies in its case against Rambus Inc., a definitive move which clears the Rambus/Infineon infringement trial to move forward. What both sides agreed upon was the decision now allows a federal court in Virginia to retry the case by jury trial. Rambus executives saw the move as a vindication of its position, while Infineon resigned itself to a second jury trial. The Courts decision is but the latest gambit in the ongoing patent litigation between the two companies, which dates back to August of 2000. Rambus claims Infineon infringed upon certain SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) patents that the company owned; Infineon, conversely, claims that Rambus illegally patented technology after the JEDEC industry group had made it an industry standard. However, an appellate court has since found that any fault was at the hands of JEDEC, whose bylaws were vague enough that Rambus was able to legally exploit a loophole.
It was this appellate court decision that Infineon asked to have reexamined by the U.S. Supreme Court through the writ of certiorari. By denying the writ, the court let the appellate decision stand.
"Todays Supreme Court ruling is another positive step forward for Rambus," said John Danforth, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus, in a statement. "The Courts ruling today clears the way for our infringement case against Infineon. That trial will focus on Rambus patents whose breadth has now been defined by the Federal Circuit. While we welcome any opportunity to resolve matters amicably rather than through the courts, we are pleased to have these JEDEC-related counterclaims behind us, and we remain committed to taking the necessary steps to protect our intellectual property." In a statement, Infineon said it would return to the starting blocks. "It is regrettable that the Court will not hear arguments in these matters, despite the evidence presented in the appeal and the separate briefs filed with the Court by representatives of commercial organizations and 15 States," Infineon said in a statement. "The case now will be decided, again, by jury trial in the Federal Court for Virginia, and we intend to vigorously pursue a full and fair resolution."

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