Class Action Filed Against Rambus for Anti-Competitive and Unfair Business Practices

On August 10, 2006, Green & Noblin, P.C., filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court on behalf of purchasers of products that incorporate technology known as S-DRAM, R-DRAM and DDR-DRAM. The lawsuit alleges that Rambus secretly patented technology that was being incorporated into open standards by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), a trade association of which Rambus was a member. The lawsuit further alleges that once these standards were adopted, Rambus coerced manufacturers who were using what had been intended to be “open” standards into licensing agreements for their use of the technology. Plaintiffs claim that, as a result, manufacturers incurred additional costs or paid Rambus licensing fees to which Rambus was not entitled.

The lawsuit additionally alleges that Rambus violated the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, State Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, Common Law Monopoly Laws, and Unjust Enrichment Laws and, as a result, unjustly enriched itself at the expense of consumers who paid artificially inflated prices for these memory technologies.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, in its August 2, 2006 opinion agreed, stating: “We find that Rambus’s course of conduct constituted deception under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Rambus’s conduct was calculated to mislead JEDEC members by fostering the belief that Rambus neither had, nor was seeking, relevant patents that would be enforced against JEDEC compliant products . . .. Under the circumstances, JEDEC members acted reasonably when they relied on Rambus’s actions and omissions and adopted the SDRAM and DDR SDRAM standards.” (The FTC’s opinion is available for viewing by clicking here: In the Matter of Rambus, Inc., Docket No. 9302. )

Green & Noblin, P.C., is continuing to address Rambus’s wrongfully obtained market power in an attempt to restore to the consuming public those monies unlawfully obtained by Rambus as a result of allegedly anti-competitive conduct.

If you would like more information about this lawsuit, please contact us at 415-477-6700 or by clicking here.