updated 03:30 pm EST, Wed December 9, 2009
Rambus agrees to deal with EU officials
The European Commission today negotiated a deal with Rambus to avert a possible legal penalty for the American memory designer. Terms in the new agreement will require it to drop its royalty rates for its more recent RAM from 3.5 percent to 1.5 percent and to let those using some of its older memory technologies obtain it for free. In return, the company won't face charges filed against it in 2007 that accused it of abusing its position within the JEDEC memory standards group to develop a standard while hiding the truth that it held patents those standards would use.
A European settlement closes a significant part of Rambus' legal troubles. In the US, the FTC ended an antitrust case in May after Rambus successfully reversed a previous defeat on appeal.
However, Rambus hasn't necessarily had success collecting royalties from others. Just last month, it lost most patent claims against NVIDIA after it tried to block any sales of the latter's graphics chipsets without royalties.