Rambus, Inc. v. Micron Technologies, Inc.
Rambus Inc. alleged Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. colluded with other DRAM manufacturers to prevent their proprietary RDRAM technology from becoming main PC memory standard by fixing prices and favoring the competing DRAM technology, DDR. Micron countered that the failure of the market to adopt RDRAM was instead driven by its higher cost due the larger chip size, that it ran hotter than DDR, and Rambus's proprietary business model which included steep licensing costs. If found liable, Micron could have faced potential damages ranging from $4.3 billion to $12 billion.
The Focal Point’s Role
Teaming up with the Quinn Emanuel trial team, The Focal Point helped to design and demonstrate the shortcomings of RDRAM technology, including the extra heat, power problems, latency, and other issues endemic to its design. This assisted the testimony of the industry experts, which showed that consumers ended up paying more for RDRAM and receiving little benefit from the technology. These core issues ultimately lead to the success of DDR in the marketplace over RDRAM, and not collusion or price-fixing as alleged by Rambus.
In a complete win for the defense, a San Francisco jury found that Micron and Hynix Semiconductor were not liable for the failure of RDRAM to become main PC memory—no damages were awarded to Rambus.
Superior Court of California (San Francisco, CA)
Judge James McBride
The Focal Point’s Client