An Eye-Opening 43 Pages

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By aschwebel
June 5, 2001

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I have now read the entire 43-page report from the Monza court-appointed technical council. I found it very interesting to see that two technical (by profession) court-appointed experts looked at precisely the same issues, wording, and patents that Judge Payne looked at and came to staunchly different conclusions! These two men spent 5 months examining three different issues. One... Are the patents that were awarded to Rambus by the EPO valid? Two... are these same patents enforceable? And three... is the specification Micron used to manufacture the DRAMs infringing on the 1) valid and 2) enforceable Rambus patent?

Before we get to what these two technical experts had to say about validity, enforceability, and infringement, it's crucial (as we unmistakably found out in Virginia) to hear what they had to say about key terms (wording) used in the patents at issue. These guys looked at exactly the same eight words (and a few more) as Judge Payne ruled on in his Markman. Wow, what a contrast of opinion! While Judge Payne took the most narrow definitions, the court-appointed technical experts (after 5 months of review) determined these exact words to mean what Drs. Horowitz and Farmwald intended them to mean over 10 years ago when they developed the spec. Bus really does mean BUS!!! And with that said, here we go...

Now I'm quoting exactly what the experts said so there is no mistake! Jack, keep u'r grubby paws off this and don't misconstrue the very clear report!

On issue #1, "Rambus patent EP 0 525 068 has the requirements of novelty and inventive step which are requested by the Italian Patent Law for its validity."

On issue #2, "The invention is described in a manner sufficiently clear and complete that an expert person may implement the invention." AND "The patent is not extended beyond the content of the original claims."

On issue #3, "SDRAM semiconductor memory devices manufactured in accordance with the teaching of Micron DATA Sheets in file and relative to Synchronous memory identified with the codes MT48LC1284A2, MT48LC64M8A2, MT48LC32M16A2 must be considered as falling in the scope of claim 1 as granted of Rambus patent EP 0 525 068."

Well there ya have it folks, could it be any clearer? On the one hand we have a judge, whose profession is one in determining law-abiding citizens from non-law abiding citizens. On the other hand, we have technical experts, professionally trained in interpreting patent law. One listens to arguments from both parties and determines that what the inventors wrote in their patent doesn't actually mean what they wrote, while the other takes a 5-month endeavor scouring the patents and technical documentation and comes to the realization that those Drs. who claim to have invented critical parts of SDRAM have actually done just that. Not only have they done that, but the Micron JEDEC-based specification infringes the said Rambus patents.

I leave you with this thought...whom do you trust more... a political figure (judge) or an engineer (technical experts)?

Best Regards,

As Geoff Hughes, director of marketing for Samsung, said, "It's not over until the fat lady sings, and I don't think we've heard from her yet."