A federal judge has thrown out all but three claims made by memory systems designer Rambus Inc. in its patent infringement suit against Infineon Technologies AG, according to a report Tuesday in the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper.
U.S. District Judge Robert Payne on Monday said only three of a total of 57 claims will be heard by the jury in the case in Richmond, Virginia, according to the report. The judge may consider a motion from Infineon to throw out all the claims in the suit, the report said.
Representatives at neither Los Altos, California-based Rambus nor at Munich-based Infineon could be immediately reached for comment.
Rambus has alleged that Infineon and several other chip makers have infringed on two types of memory patents. The patents relate to SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access memory), which is commonly used in desktop and notebook computers, and Rambus DRAM (RDRAM). The lawsuits came after the chip makers refused to pay royalty fees to Rambus.
Semiconductor manufacturers initially resented Rambus' license fees as the SDRAM specification was actually developed by the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council), a 41-year old technical-components standards-making body. Some companies like Toshiba Corp. have agreed to sign on with Rambus. Rambus' memory patents were royalty-free until the company began demanding licensing revenue.
Infineon, Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc., formerly Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. Ltd. have fought Rambus' request for licensing fees. Rambus has also sued all three companies in Germany with the Infineon case expected to go to trial in May and the two others late September. Rambus also has a separate suit against Micron in Italy.