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More standardization skullduggery

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As a follow-up to the May/June Micro Law column on abuse of the standard-setting process, I now turn to Rambus' version of the previously summarized Secret Squirrel saga. A jury in Richmond, Virginia, found that with the aid of a secret informant (designated Secret Squirrel) inside the Joint Electronic Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC) standard-setting group, Rambus engaged in industrial-grade standardization skullduggery. The jury found that Rambus defrauded JEDEC and the dynamic RAM (DRAM) industry badly enough to warrant a verdict of $3.5 million in punitive damages. The jury also awarded Infineon $1 in compensatory damages. The court then reduced the $3.5 million punitive damages verdict to $350,000 because under Virginia law punitive damages cannot exceed that amount. Rambus has now filed papers explaining why it is not guilty of fraud and asking the court to overturn the verdict. Some of Rambus' arguments raise fundamental questions about the patent system's policies and the operative function of the law of fraud

Published in:

Micro, IEEE  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Jul/Aug 2001

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