Rambus, Inc.
Samsung Settlement?

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By cryptscrypt
January 12, 2006

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Our collective brains have yet to be able to call a settlement...and we've called for plenty of them over the years.

With regards to Samsung however, I'm having a harder and harder time understanding their position.

As I recall last year Rambus and Samsung were renegotiating Samsung's license, which was set to expire in June of 2005. I don't recall what details have come out but I think Rambus wanted to revert to the old rate, in fact the IFX settlement may have been the trigger to do so, but Samsung, undoubtedly wanted the same rates as Payne essentially gave to IFX.

Being unable to resolve this difference Rambus filed suit in NDCA. Sammie sought IFX like gains from Payne's court by counter-filing in EDVA. It's pretty easy to see what Samsung thought they might gain from this court but at this point the patent suit has been dismissed and all that remains is attorney's fees. Of course Samsung doesn't want attorney's fees, they want Payne's IFX oral order on record. But now, after Whyte's ruling, of what value is even that to them? Whyte not give them collateral estoppel on it. Rambus will appeal it immediately. Thus Samsung gains a delay factor plus they may hope that the CAFC does them an immense favor and reverses Whyte, at least to some degree.

If Payne declines jurisdiction or if he declines to produce a written ruling on the IFX matter in order to justify an exceptional case, then this Samsung strategy fails. There would then be no place to go but back to Whyte's court...and things seem quite predictable in his court.

Given that Samsung is the dominant market shareholder, there is a great deal of money at stake for them.

I guess I can see Samsung continuing to press things in Payne's court, until Payne either gives them what they want or dismisses their suit.

If Payne settles the case by either dismissing, or awarding attorney's fees w/o a written spoliation ruling, I do not see how Samsung gains by continuing to litigate. If Payne give Samsung a written spoliation ruling, however, I do see how Samsung *may* gain something but it seems to me the odds of the CAFC going against Whyte, in favor of Payne, are less than encouraging.

Nevertheless Samsung may see the situation as involving so much money they have to try everything they can.

It seems certain to me that Rambus would be willing to give Samsung the "next best rate" if they would settle. If Samsung doesn't settle then that rate must be very unacceptable to Samsung. I can see a 3.5% rate for Samsung as being completely unacceptable to them. If the IFX rate is 0.5% or 0.75% and the next best rate Samsung can get is 3.5% then I can see this being a very large problem for Samsung.

However, if Payne turns Samsung down, what hope does Samsung have?

Given all this I guess I can see Samsung going through with Payne's hearing on the 19th and then trying to settle if it goes against them. If Payne's hearing goes against Samsung what chance to they have of cheaper rates by litigating? It seems to be they have very little chance. The odds seem to tilt in Hynix's favor of getting the next best rate.

And thinking of Hynix...what on earth are they thinking at the moment? Spoliation is dead for them. SJ of infringement has been declared. Hynix has a motion in place for Whyte to relook at this Markman. I believe Nic has said Whyte is not likely to give them anything here. All Hynix really has to look forward to is more judgments of infringement. The third phase of the trial, Rambus's conduct, seems a joke after McGuire's ID. It seems Hynix may be asking for a settlement. If they are, Rambus can go to Samsung and pressure them. Who gets the next best rate, our good friend Samsung, or Hynix?

It would truly be interesting to know if Hynix/Micron or Samsung has called Rambus and said, "let's talk" or not.

It's all pretty complicated at the moment.


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