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Coming down the home stretch in the Rambus standardization skullduggery saga: To levy or not to levy royalties

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The tale of Rambus's standardization skullduggery in developing JE- DEC's (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council's) SDRAM standard has unfolded for this journal's readers in many Micro Law columns since the first report in the May/June 2001 issue.1 First, Rambus and Infineon duked it out in the federal courts. Then the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began a proceeding against Rambus in June 2002. That proceeding eventually led to a determination in July 2006 that Rambus engaged in unfair and deceptive practices. The FTC also found that "Rambus engaged in exclusionary conduct that significantly contributed to its acquisition of monopoly power in four related markets." The Commission then announced that it would determine a remedy for the unlawful conduct after additional briefings and argument. In February 2007, the FTC issued its final order on remedy. The key controversy was whether mandatory licensing of Rambus's patents should be on a royalty- free or reasonable-royalty basis.

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IEEE Micro  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 2 )