US District Court Judge Robert Payne has thrown out 54 of 57 patent infringement claims filed by Rambus against Infineon Technologies, leaving the chip maker to answer just three allegations.
The judge is expected to rule sometime after Thursday on whether to continue the trial on the basis of the remaining three claims which protect programmable data block sizes, programmable registers and output drivers that connect to memory-IC address bus lines.
Rambus, the judge said, could not show exactly how Infineon's products infringed its patents. He also said that even if Infineon is determined to have infringed on the three patents remaining in the case, he would not find the Munich-based chip maker guilty of wilfully violating Rambus' patents.
Shares in Rambus, which reported $72.3m in fiscal 2000 sales, fell by as much as nine per cent after the report.
The company has rested its case and Infineon will now give its evidence to prove that Rambus failed to disclose SDRam patent applications when it was a member of an open standards body that met to discuss the technology.
A spokesman for Infineon said the company does not comment on any matters under litigation.
Rambus started demanding payment for the patents in early 2000, when chips based on its own competing memory technology, RDRam (Rambus DRam) was not yet in production.
Infineon has contested the admission of the patent corrections on the ground that they were granted five months after Rambus filed suit against the chipmaker.
Rambus is currently suing Micron in Italy, which is expected to go to trial in a few weeks, and South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor, which was called Hyundai Electronics Industries until recently. Rambus expects its patent infringement case against Micron in Delaware to begin in October.
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