Abattu dans les flammes: Darling Of The Tech Industry, Rambus

Rambus is the company best known for suing dozens of companies over memory patents that it holds and is suing so prolifically, that many just see this company as a patent troll. It has been accused many times of obtaining submarine patents while a member of the JEDEC group until a decade ago, which it is now fraudulently using to try and extort royalties from every other company using DDR memory and its derivatives. Unfortunately, those lawsuits didn't stick, encouraging Rambus to carry on enthusiastically. Rambus won patent fights against NVIDIA and Samsung for example, who now have to pay them ongoing royalties. However, it looks like Rambus may have bitten off more than it could chew, because it has just lost a $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology Inc and Hynix Semiconductor Inc, erasing more than half of the chipmaker's value as investors abandoned its stock in droves. Rambus stock immediately plunged more than 60% on this good news.

Rambus's central claim was that Micron and Hynix had colluded to fix prices of memory chips, to prevent Rambus technology from being widely used and claimed that this collusion cost them over $4 billion in lost profits. However, it looks like the court didn't buy this argument for lack of proof and handed the win to Rambus's opponents in a 9 to 3 vote, at the end of a three month trial. Rambus has been suing competitors instead of out-innovating them for about a decade now and has been more successful at this game than would have been expected. It still has several other lawsuits ongoing though and with these same companies too, but this loss could be a taste of things to come, which might finally call a halt to their brazen litigious activities. Rambus said that they might appeal this decision, which isn't surprising as it's a high stakes game for them and potentially precedence setting, so one can expect that they won't go down without a fight. Let's just hope that they do go down though. Sources: Yahoo, MarketWatch