Rambus Verdict

November 17, 2011 by staff 

Rambus Verdict, Rambus Inc. lost more than 60% of its market value Wednesday, after a San Francisco jury rejected the Silicon Valley company’s allegations in an antitrust case that sought billions of dollars in damages.

The jury, in a 9-3 vote after more than eight weeks of deliberations, ruled that defendants Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor didn’t conspire to prevent Rambus technology from taking hold in the market.

Rambus, which designs technology used in memory chips, had sought nearly $4 billion in direct damages for the harm it allegedly suffered in the case, an amount that can be instantly tripled under California law. It also asked for punitive damages.

The company has been involved in many patent and antitrust cases, which have tended to make its stock swing wildly on verdicts or other developments. The case against Micron and Hynix was filed in San Francisco County Superior Court in 2004.

Trading in Rambus shares was halted for several hours pending the verdict. Once it resumed, the stock plummeted nearly 61%, trading at $7.11, off $10.93, at 4 p.m. on Nasdaq.

Micron’s shares, after they were also temporarily halted from trading, rose 23%, or $1.28, to $6.74.

Rambus said it was disappointed in the ruling and would consider an appeal, based on several rulings that affected how the case was presented to the jury.

“We believe very strongly in our case, and we intend to explore all of our options as long as we have channels available to us,” said Chief Executive Harold Hughes in a conference call.

The company, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., in the 1990s had hoped to convince other companies to license its technology for accelerating the performance of memory chips. The technology initially won endorsements from Intel Corp., which helps set standard for technology used in PCs.

But the technology was outsold by alternatives

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