SAN JOSE, Calif. Expanding its legal thrust against a development partner, Rambus Inc. on Wednesday (June 15) said that South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has been named as a defendant in a pending suit over alleged antitrust violations.
Last year, Rambus (Los Altos, Calif.) filed similar antitrust suits against Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Micron Technology and Siemens AG. The suits, originally filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, claimed these companies are engaged in a "concerted and unlawful effort to eliminate competition and stifle innovation in the market for computer memory technology and computer memory chips" (see May 5, 2004 story).
In March of this year, Rambus settled a case with Infineon, but the U.S. company still has pending suits against Micron and Hynix. And now, Rambus has included Samsung in the suit.
"Rambus took this step after a series of other developments, which included Hynix's plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) promising cooperation in the DOJ's investigation of a possible DRAM industry conspiracy to fix RDRAM prices and otherwise eliminate competition in the 1999-2002 time period, and following Rambus' recent receipt of certain documents previously provided to the DOJ by Hynix and Micron in connection with the DOJ's ongoing criminal investigation," according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Earlier this month, Rambus added Samsung as a defendant in its pending patent infringement suit against four companies over memory technology. Rambus also terminated a memory license agreement with Samsung ahead of schedule.
In January, Rambus also filed a similar suit against Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Inotera Memories and Nanya Technology Corp. (see June 6 story).
Then, Samsung turned up the heat in its legal battle with Rambus by asking a Virginia court to strip the memory technology developer of four disputed patents in a countersuit over alleged intellectual property infringement (see June 14 story).