Not only has computer chip designer Rambus lost its high-profile patent infringement suit against Infineon Technologies, but on Wednesday a jury found it guilty of fraud.
Last Friday a US federal judge threw out the three remaining patent infringement claims by Rambus in its case against Infineon. Earlier in the same week, US District Court Judge Robert Payne had thrown out 54 other claims of patent infringement.
Rambus sued Infineon last August alleging that Europe's top semiconductor maker infringed four US patents for the microchips that are used to speed up PCs and video games.
Rambus said it will appeal against the rulings and that it has other suits against Micron Technology and Hyundai waiting in the wings. The suits are not about Rambus' highly-touted RDRam technology but whether it had patent claims on other versions such as SDRam and DDRam.
To rub salt into these wounds, a jury found for Infineon in a counter suit which alleged that Rambus committed fraud in applying for its patents.
Infineon claimed that Rambus secretly patented some standards while they were participating in the JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) Solid State Technology Association, the semiconductor engineering standard-setting body.
Rambus' version of the facts was that JEDEC's rules regarding participation are confusing and are not generally complied with by other members.
The jury wanted to hit Rambus with $3.5m in punitive damages - the company had asked for $105m. The judge is likely to reduce the award to $350,000 to comply with Virginia law.
Rambus said it will appeal. "Today's verdict, if allowed to stand, poses a serious threat to all technology companies that try to protect their inventions through our intellectual property laws," said Rambus chief executive Geoff Tate.
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