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Micron turns tables, sues Rambus

Posted: 23 Feb 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Peter Clarke? Spencer Chin? Micron Technology? Rambus?

Semiconductor supplier Micron Technology Inc. has filed a new lawsuit against Rambus Inc. in apparent retaliation for a suit filed by Rambus last month.

On Jan. 13, Rambus filed a patent infringement suit against Micron. At the time, Rambus asserted that Micron infringed upon its DDR2, GDDR2 and GDDR3 patents, according to John Danforth, SVP and general counsel at Rambus.

Micron alleges in its suit that Rambus has "engaged in a pattern of destruction of evidence, false testimony and other improper activities designed to mislead courts and Micron and to extract unjust patent licensing fees or damages from Micron."

The compliant, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, includes allegations that Rambus intentionally concealed information through false testimony and other means regarding the ownership of key Rambus patents asserted against Micron in patent suits. It alleges that Rambus violated sections of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Virginia conspiracy laws through a pattern of illegal conduct.

Both Micron and Rambus are no stranger to patent battles.

"We file about 1,800 patents a year. We have thousands of patents; an incredibly strong portfolio," Steve Appleton, Micron chairman and CEO told EE Times in an interview early this week.

"With some companies we do have cross-license deals and with some we don't. We have not been aggressive in pursuing other companies but we have been very vigorous in defending our own position," he added.

Micron is linking the case to other Rambus cases, including a pending case between Rambus and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, and a case two years ago between Rambus and Infineon Technologies AG.

In Rambus' suit against Infineon, the Virginia court ruled that Rambus' actions related to destroying documents and litigation misconduct warranted the dismissal of its patent claims against Infineon.

Rambus did not comment by press time.

- Peter Clarke and Spencer Chin
EE Times

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