Rambus and Micron announced on Tuesday that they have signed a patent cross license agreement. Micron receives rights to Rambus IC patents, including memories. Both Micron and Elpida products will be covered. The companies have thus settled all outstanding patent and antitrust claims in their 13-year court battle.
Micron will make royalty payments to Rambus of up to $10 million per quarter over the next seven years, totaling $280 million, after which Micron will receive a perpetual, paid-up license.
Rambus and Micron both have new management. Rambus is now focused on bringing patent issues to a speedy resolution, and Micron’s new management seems more ready to settle than it was earlier.
Micron’s legal fees over the past 13 years could very well have exceeded the agreed-upon $280 million maximum payment. Although the courts recently ruled in Micron’s favor, the legal process’ slow pace and related costs may have motivated Micron to settle.
Rambus technology is now about 20 years old and some patents are approaching the end of their lives. The original technology was invented before SDRAM or DDR were standardized, when DRAMs were evolving from Fast Page Mode (FPM) to Extended Data Output (EDO).
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