A Huge Legal Ruling in the Tech Arena

The long-running legal wars between Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS  ) and Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU  ) finally reached a verdict. After eight weeks of deliberations and high-level testimonies from industry giants Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL  ) , a split jury arrived at a "not guilty" verdict and no damage awards.

The jury found that Rambus "did not meet its burden of proving its case against the two defendants," Micron and Hynix. This antitrust case could have resulted in a $4 billion damage award, to be automatically tripled under California law for a total of $12 billion. Instead, Rambus gets nothing.

Of course, this was just the Superior Court in San Francisco County and not the Supreme Court of the United States. Rambus is "reviewing our options for appeal," and I wouldn't be surprised to see one filed very soon. The amount of potential payouts makes this a make-or-break case for the memory patent wrangler. Having pursued this case for seven years already, Rambus isn't likely to just give up at this point.

Trading in shares of both Rambus and Micron was halted ahead of the verdict and hasn't been reinstated as of this writing.

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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Micron but holds no other position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Intel and Dell, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinion, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Check out Anders' holdings and bio, or follow him on Twitter and Google+. We have a disclosure policy.


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  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2011, at 4:39 PM, TMFZahrim wrote:

    As expected, Rambus plunged and Micron jumped when trading started up again. MU closed the day up 21% and RMBS lost 60%. Stay tuned for possible appeals, which could reverse these moves very quickly.

    Anders

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