Infineon and Rambus Settle Legal Dispute: Infineon Agrees to Pay Royalties
Quite unexpectedly Infineon and Rambus announced that they have reached an agreement settling all claims between them and licensing the Rambus patent portfolio for use in current and future Infineon products. The agreement comes less than a month after a federal judge dismissed a Rambus patent claim against Infineon.
Under the terms of the agreement Rambus has granted to Infineon a worldwide license to existing and future Rambus patents and patent applications for use in Infineon memory products. In exchange, Infineon will pay a quarterly license fee of $5.85 million starting by November 15, 2005 through November 15, 2007. After November 15, 2007, and only if Rambus enters into additional specified licensing agreements with certain other DRAM manufacturers, Infineon will make additional quarterly payments which may accumulate up to a maximum of an additional $100 million.
The agreement also provides Infineon an option for acquiring certain other licenses. All licenses provide for Infineon to be treated as a "most-favored customer" of Rambus. Infineon has simultaneously granted to Rambus a fully-paid perpetual license for memory interfaces.
In addition to the licenses, the two companies have agreed to the immediate dismissal of all pending litigation and have released each other from all existing legal claims. It is unclear whether Infineonís manufacturing partners, such as Inotera Memories and Nanya Technology Corporation, are granted rights to use technologies patented by Rambus.
Rambus claims it owns patents on key-technologies used in modern dynamic random access memory that is deployed in every single computer sold. The company is trying to force all makers of DRAM to pay royalties to Rambus for every single SDRAM, DDR SDRAM and DDR2 SDRAM chip sold. However, numerous memory makers and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) act against Rambus. Rambus also has cases pending against Hynix Semiconductor, Micron Technologies, Inotera Memories and Nanya Technology Corporation.
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