Judge dismisses FTC suit against Rambus

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Judge dismisses FTC suit against Rambus

A US judge has dismissed a complaint brought against Rambus by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claiming that the company tried to monopolise the memory-chip market.

The FTC's chief administrative law judge presiding over the case, dismissed the case in its entirety, ruling that the FTC failed to establish liability for the violations alleged.

The FTC sued Rambus in June 2002, charging the company with violating federal antitrust laws by deliberately engaging in a pattern of anticompetitive acts and practices which served to deceive an industry-wide standard-setting organisation, resulting in adverse effects on competition and consumers.

According to the FTC, Rambus from 1992 to 1995 took part in standards-setting activity regarding SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) technology with the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council Solid State Technology Association (Jedec), but did not disclose that it had also filed for patents to cover technologies involved in the standard.

Rambus has said that it complied with Jedec's rules and that it filed a patent application for its memory technology in 1990, after which it was invited to join the group to develop a related standard. Several chip makers have licensed Rambus' patents, others have challenged the validity of Rambus' patents in court.

The decision to dismiss the complaint is subject to review by the FTC and by a US Court of Appeal.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service


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