There’s beem recent stories about Rambus lately. Here’s what is happening:
Yes, legal beagles, this is grossly oversimplified, but this is Overclockers.com, not Harvard Law Review. 🙂
Rambus thinks most modern memory infringes on certain patents they registered a long time back. Those making all that memory don’t think so, and say that Rambus participated in joint meetings with all the memory folks to come out with standards, and then snuck and patented the committee’s work.
So Rambus sued Infineon to make their case.
The case first went to a U.S. federal district court, which essentially said, “Rambus, not only are you incorrect, you’re full of s—.” They basically didn’t even bother holding a trial on Rambus’ claims and found Rambus guilty of fraud.
Rambus appealed the decision, and the appeals court said, “No, Rambus is not full of s—. Not only is there no fraud, this looks like a pretty decent case here. District Court, go back and figure this out.”
Infineon didn’t like that. So they appealed to the Supreme Court, saying, “Supreme Court, could you please tell the appeals court that they’re as full of s— as Rambus, so we don’t have to have a trial?”
Most of the time, the way you do that is by filing what called a writ of certiorari. In English, that means, “Surpreme Court, could you please hear this case?”
Outside of a few specific areas, the Supreme Court doesn’t have to hear a case. Actually, most of the time, they say “No” to them, and they did so here. That means the lower court ruling stands.
It’s important to understand what that lower court ruling was, though. The issue wasn’t “Is Rambus right or not?” but rather “Is Rambus so full of s— that we don’t even have to bother with a full trial?”
The Supreme Court didn’t say Rambus was right by their “No.” They didn’t say Rambus should win by saying “No.” By saying “No,” they just said, “Go and hold that trial like the appeals court said.”
After the district court holds the trial and comes up with a decision, then the parties are free to appeal that decision.
So it’s good for Rambus is that they now get the chance to try to prove in court that the memory makers are infringing on their patents. But that’s all this is. They haven’t won that case at all.