Hynix applauds rejected $4 billion damages claim

Nov 17, 2011

South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor, the world's number two memory chipmaker, on Thursday welcomed a US court's rejection of claims by American firm Rambus for billions of dollars in damages.

A San Francisco jury ruled on Wednesday that Hynix and US-based chipmaker did not conspire to prevent Rambus' technology from taking hold in the market.

"We welcome the jury's decision," Hynix Chief Executive Kwon Oh-Chul said in a statement. "The ruling drastically reduces uncertainties hanging over the company's future."

Hynix shares closed up 3.8 percent at 23,200 won following news of the decision.

Rambus had sought nearly $4 billion from the two firms in direct damages, a sum which could be instantly tripled under California anti-trust laws. It also asked for punitive damages.

Rambus, whose shares plummeted 61 percent following the verdict, said it was disappointed and would consider an appeal.

"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 following the ruling.

California-based Rambus, which licenses technology to chipmakers, filed the complaint in 2004 against Hynix, Micron and .

It accused the three chipmakers of illegally colluding to keep Rambus's technology from taking hold in the market. The case also involved claims of price fixing.

Samsung, the world's largest memory chipmaker, was dropped from the case after agreeing to pay $900 million through 2015.

Hynix and Micron rejected the conspiracy claims, arguing Rambus' failure to penetrate the market was due to issues with its technology and other factors.

In May, Hynix secured a favourable ruling by a US court in a separate case that rejected Rambus' claim that Hynix infringed upon its chip patents.

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