Court postpones Hynix/Rambus lawsuit

A U.S. court has postponed a lawsuit by South Korean chipmaker Hynix Semiconductor Inc. against U.S. competitor Rambus Inc. in which Hynix had sought a declaration that its SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) and DDR (double data rate) SDRAM products do not infringe upon certain Rambus patents.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is further inclined to postpone the case indefinitely, pending resolution of a separate Rambus appeal in a case against Infineon Technologies AG that involves some of the same patent issues, Rambus said in a statement Wednesday.

Rambus sued Infineon last year for patent infringement after the German chipmaker, along with Hynix and U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc., refused to pay royalties for SDRAM and DDR SDRAM technologies. Rambus lost the case, and was further fined for fraud for improperly obtaining patents on chips that were being developed by the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) while the company was participating in the group.

The California court adopted some of the rulings used in the Infineon case, thereby dismissing most of Rambus’ patent claims, Rambus said. However, the company took the decision in its stride, saying it is confident the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where Rambus is appealing a number of rulings in the Infineon case, will react more positively to its claims.

Rambus, in Los Altos, Calif., can be reached at Hynix, in Seoul, is at Infineon, in Munich, is at Micron Technology, in Boise, Idaho, is at