Rambus says FTC has dropped antitrust claims

May 14, 2009 By ANDREW VANACORE , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- Rambus Inc. said Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission has dropped its claim that the memory chip company violated antitrust laws in patenting technologies that were eventually incorporated into industry standards.

The company's shares jumped 9 percent in morning trading.

Rambus has fought a series of legal battles over patents, which generate most of its revenue. Chip manufacturers forced to pay royalties to Rambus have accused the company of quietly seeking rights to memory chip technology in the 1990s even as it participated in an industry standards-setting body.

Last year Rambus won a crucial jury ruling. In that case, Rambus was cleared of antitrust charges in a lawsuit brought by chip makers Micron Technology Inc., Inc. and Nanya Technology Corp.

Like the FTC, the companies charged Rambus with deliberately withholding information from the Joint Engineering Council (JEDEC), which counted Rambus as a member as it established guidelines for the industry.

A U.S. District Court affirmed the jury's decision in March, saying Rambus had no clear obligation to disclose pending or future patent applications while it held a spot on the council.

Los Altos, Calif.-based Rambus has consistently denied wrongdoing. The company's general counsel, Thomas Lavelle, said in a statement Thursday, "We are pleased to have finally put this matter behind us."

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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