Rambus Inc. today announced that it has agreed in principle to terms for a compulsory license with Hynix Semiconductor (000660.KS) for SDR SDRAM and DDR SDRAM memory products. The parties have agreed to royalty rates of 1% for SDR SDRAM and 4.25% for DDR SDRAM memory devices for net sales after January 31, 2009 and before April 18, 2010.
The latter rate applies to DDR, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR, GDDR2 and GDDR3 SDRAM devices, as well as DDR SGRAM devices. In addition, a proposed final judgment of $349M in damages, plus pre-judgment interest of approximately $48M has been submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The final amount of pre-judgment interest depends on the date final judgment is entered. Damages and royalty rates are limited to U.S. infringements.
“While the Court still needs to resolve some outstanding issues, we are pleased to have reached agreement with Hynix on a number of terms,” said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus. “Our goal as always is to seek fair compensation for the use of our patented inventions, and this agreement will be a significant milestone in pursuit of that goal.”
This case was originally filed by Hynix against Rambus in August 2000. Judge Whyte of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California split the case into three separate phases with Rambus subsequently prevailing in all three phases. During the course of the case, Judge Whyte found Rambus did not spoliate evidence as Hynix had alleged, and a jury found Rambus patents valid and infringed by Hynix. Judge Whyte and a separate jury also found Rambus acted properly while a member of the standard-setting organization JEDEC during its participation in the early 1990s.