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Micron, Rambus End Disputes

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Micron Technology and Rambus sign a "broad patent cross license agreement"-- one bringing 13 years of legal disputes to an end as Micron agrees to pay Rambus up to $280 million over the next 7 years.

RambusIn exchange Micron gets the rights to use any Rambus patent for the manufacture of specified integrated circuit products, including memory, as well as the dropping of all pending litigation.

"This milestone agreement puts years of legal disputes behind both companies and opens doors for future cooperation," Rambus CEO Dr. Ron Black says. "We continue to focus on developing innovative technology and furthering our more open, collaborative relationship with the broader industry."

The deal sees Micron making quarterly royalty payments reaching around 0.6% of revenues from products using Rambus patents. The payments are capped at $10m per quarter (with a fixed cap of $40m per 4 quarters), meaning during the next 7 years Rambus will make up to $280m according to sales volume.

Legal issues between the two companies started off in the 1990s, when Rambus developed and tried to license technologies accelerating DRAM chip performance. It failed to do so, so instead it kicked off disputes against other memory makers, including Micron and Hynix.

Opponents counter attacked with accusations of antitrust law violation.

Rambus won and lost some of these court battles-- in 2010 it reached an agreement worth up to $900m with Samsung, and in 2011 it lost a case against Micron and Hynix in a California state court.

Nowadays Rambus appears to prefer spending less money on lawyers and more on is supposed bread and butter, technology and the developmen thereof. After all, if the use of Rambus patents lead to successful Micron products, both companies will benefit.

Go Rambus and Micron Sign License Agreement