Court order allows Infineon appeal before patent case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has issued a "stay of mandate" in the case between Rambus and Infineon Technologies, allowing Infineon to pursue a number of different legal options including an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court before Rambus' patent infringement case against Infineon begins, a Rambus spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Court of Appeals reached a split decision in January to vacate a judgement of fraud against Rambus reached by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The jury had found that Rambus fraudulently sought to obtain patents on technology included in the SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM) standard developed by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), of which Rambus was a member in the 1990s.

The appeals court ruled that Rambus could not be held liable for failing to disclose its patents on technology that wound up in the SDRAM standard because JEDEC's disclosure polices were poorly written. That decision sent the case back to the district court, where a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Rambus against Infineon was slated to begin later this year. Rambus had sued Infineon and a number of other memory chip vendors for manufacturing SDRAM memory chips without licensing the technology from Rambus.

Tuesday's decision means Infineon will have a chance to pursue all of its legal options before that patent infringement case proceeds, the Rambus spokeswoman said.

An Infineon representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

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