Rambus rumpus rumbles on

Designer of memory, Rambus said a U.S. federal appeals court wants to have another look at its patent infringement cases with rivals Hynix Semiconductor and Micron Technology.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C., has rescheduled hearings for October 7th, just when Rambus thought it was about to trouser the results of a settlement against its rivals.

Both Hynix and Micro accused Rambus of shenanigans after it was said have participated as an observer in memory specification meetings at the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), while keeping schtumm about patents applications it had in its back pocket at the time.

In 2004 Rambus filed a price-fixing case against Samsung, Hynix, Infineon and Micron Technology. They responded by accusing the firm of failing to disclose its patents to JEDEC.

The competing memory makers also accuse Rambus of making swift use of a shredder, to deal with documentation relating to the alleged incidents.

In subsequent legal wranglings, district courts once ruled in favour of U.S. outfit Micron and then later, in April 2009, ruled in favour of Rambus.

Hynix appealed the verdict.

Samsung Electronics and Rambus separately settled their spat over licensing in a deal that could be worth more than $700 million to Rambus.

A rehearing was expected in April this year but the delay made investors nervous as it is assumed that judges are to go over the evidence with a fine-toothed comb, it not a pair of scissors and roll of sticky tape.

Rambus' share price fell by 17 per cent when the news was announced on Wednesday.

"In spite of this delay, we remain confident in our position," Rambus general counsel Thomas Lavelle said. "We will vigorously argue our right to defend and be fairly compensated for use of our patented innovations borne of years of work by Rambus scientists and engineers.”