Rambus awarded $307 million patent damages

The jury in Rambus’ patent infringement trial against Hynix Semiconductor has awarded it $307 million infringement damages for 10 valid and infringed patent claims.

Rambus has announced that the jury in its patent infringement trial against Hynix Semiconductor has found that all Rambus patent claims at issue in the trial are valid and infringed.

The jury awarded Rambus infringement damages in the amount of $306.9 million, which represent compensation only for that portion of Hynix’s SDRAM, DDR SDRAM and DDR2 memory products sold in the United States. The damage award covered Hynix sales between June 2000 and the end of 2005. This award does not yet include any pre-judgment interest.

Rambus, a chip technology licensing company,  has also asked for permanent injunctive relief against Hynix to stop the manufacture, use, sale, or import of infringing Hynix memory products. The issue of an injunction will be addressed in future proceedings and will likely await resolution of a third phase of the Hynix case, currently expected to be tried this summer, that addresses certain Hynix counterclaims. Those Hynix counterclaims include challenges to the enforceability of Rambus patents and allegations that Rambus defamed DDR SDRAM or otherwise impeded market adoption of DDR SDRAM.

Hynix originally filed the case against Rambus in August 2000 seeking declaratory judgments that 11 patents are invalid and not infringed. Rambus countersued, and eventually the case was expanded to include Hynix’s SDRAM, DDR and DDR2 memory products and 59 patent claims from 14 Rambus patents.

In pre-trial proceedings, the trial judge granted summary judgment in favour of Rambus finding infringement as to 11 of the original 59 patent claims. The trial judge subsequently permitted ten patent claims to be presented to the jury at trial, including two that were the subject of the favourable summary judgment motion. The jury was asked to consider whether Hynix products infringed the remaining eight claims and to consider a variety of challenges by Hynix to the validity of all ten claims. The jury upheld Rambus’ position on each of these issues.