Rambus Gets Mixed European Ruling
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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Shares of Rambus Inc. enjoyed a slight lift on the Nasdaq Stock Market, after The European Patent Office handed the chip connection designer a mixed ruling that could delay its cases against semiconductor makers in Europe.
Though the office affirmed the novelty and inventiveness of one of Rambus’ key patents, it also said the patent is valid only if certain language is added to make it conform with the original filing.
Los Altos-based Rambus has sued a number of chip makers in the United States and Europe for allegedly refusing to pay royalties on its technology. Defendants include Infineon Technologies AG, Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.
``What’s going to be debated by the parties is the practical effect of that additional language,″ said John Danforth, Rambus’ general counsel. ``This will give the other side an opportunity to say it should limit our infringement case.″
Rambus said it will appeal the ruling, which was issued Wednesday. Because of differences in European and U.S. patent law, the decision is not expected to affect cases in the United States, Danforth said.
Rambus shares closed at $5.50, up almost 2 percent, or 9 cents, in Wednesday trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Rambus licenses technology that semiconductor companies use to increase the bandwidth between chips. Its designs are often used to speed memory communications, and 25 chip makers have licensed the technology for more than 300 computer, communications and consumer applications.
In June, the Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust complaint against Rambus, alleging it persuaded a standards group to adopt technology for which Rambus was seeking patent approvals.
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