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Print 44 comment(s) - last by shamrokkevin.. on Aug 5 at 8:50 PM

Everyone's a monopoly these days!

The US Federal Trade Commission has just issued the following statement: "By a unanimous vote, the Federal Trade Commission has determined that computer technology developer Rambus, Inc. unlawfully monopolized the markets for four computer memory technologies that have been incorporated into industry standards for dynamic random access memory – DRAM chips."

Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour is responsible for official opinion, and further adds “Through its successful strategy, Rambus was able to conceal its patents and patent applications until after the standards were adopted and the market was locked in. Only then did Rambus reveal its patents – through patent infringement lawsuits against JEDEC members who practiced the standard,” continues the official opinion.

The FTC ruling comes just days after a US judge halved the cash award that Rambus received after suing Hynix over patent infringement.  The Hynix ruling and the FTC statement are certainly no coincidence: the patents the FTC alleges that Rambus submarined into JEDEC are the same patents Hynix was sued over.

The plot further thickens with the fact that Rambus is simultaneously suing the major DRAM manufacturers for artificially deflating the price of SDRAM in an effort to dampen RDRAM sales.  Additionally, Attorneys General of 34 states have filed major antitrust lawsuits against the largest DRAM manufacturers on monopoly allegations, with the key evidence coming from email messages obtained by Rambus.  Samsung, the primary manufacturer for Rambus, was strikingly absent from the monopoly filings.

Interestingly enough, the FTC has not issued any penalties for Rambus, and doesn't even promise that any further charges will be brought against Rambus.  The FTC opinion adds "Now that the Commission has found, and determined the scope of liability, the Commission believes it would exercise its broad remedial powers most responsibly after additional briefings and, if necessary, oral argument devoted specifically to remedial issues." 

Ultimately, no party in this continuing saga has had a consistent or innocent message.  For those of us who follow the technology industry, the DRAM industry is the only sector where multiple parties claim the other has a monopoly.



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It just gets sillier and sillier
By masher2 (blog) on 8/2/2006 1:26:00 PM , Rating: 2
Rambus doesn't produce memory chips, and has never done so. It's "market share" is, has been, and will always be, zero. Rather makes it difficult to hold a monopoly position. Just another example of government meddling in a situation it doesn't understand, and will only make worse. The market has already sorted out the situation, and Rambus has seen the penalty of its short-sighted business tactics.

Quote: “Through its successful strategy, Rambus was able to conceal its patents ...

And, of course, no one is able to 'conceal' patents....they are a matter of public record. A company can fail to advertise their ownership of a particular patent...but since when did this become a crime?




RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By rrsurfer1 on 8/2/2006 1:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
I dunno. To be honest when I read the article I wondered this myself, but I figure the FTC must know what they are doing... right?

:)


By cmsix on 8/2/2006 4:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
Unless I'm mistaken, FTC stand for Federal Trade Commission, so that means they are part of our government. Of course they don't know what they're doing.


cmsix


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By TomZ on 8/2/2006 1:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And, of course, no one is able to 'conceal' patents....they are a matter of public record. A company can fail to advertise their ownership of a particular patent...but since when did this become a crime?

I thought the accusation was that RAMBUS represented to JEDEC members that it was asserting no patent rights when it was in fact applying for patents for the same technologies. I think that's what this quote is getting at:

Through its successful strategy, Rambus was able to conceal its patents and patent applications until after the standards were adopted and the market was locked in. Only then did Rambus reveal its patents – through patent infringement lawsuits against JEDEC members who practiced the standard.


By rrsurfer1 on 8/2/2006 1:35:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yea, after reading the article, I have to say the FTC may have some damning evidence that Rambus basically lied to JEDEC

Rambus withheld information that would have been highly material to the standard-setting process within JEDEC,” the opinion continues. “JEDEC expressly sought information about patents to enable its members to make informed decisions about which technologies to adopt, and JEDEC members viewed early knowledge of potential patent consequences as vital for avoiding patent hold-up. Rambus understood that knowledge of its evolving patent position would be material to JEDEC’s choices, and avoided disclosure for that very reason."


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By nilepez on 8/2/2006 2:19:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sheesh masher, at a minimum, they operated in bad faith. It was group that was supposedly working on an open standard. Nobody checked, because nobody, aside from rambus, considered that one of the members would make a free open standard their proprietary technology.

What they did was bad not just for Micron, Samsung et. al. It was bad for the consumers, because it increases the price of the technology. Had the other members known that Rambus owned the patents, they might have chosen a different implementation.

Rambus' actions were slimey and unethical at best.


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By TomZ on 8/2/2006 2:24:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What they did was bad not just for Micron, Samsung et. al. It was bad for the consumers, because it increases the price of the technology.

Hey, aren't these some of the same companies, the DRAM manufacturers, that are now being sued for DRAM price fixing?

Not defending Rambus, just saying there seems be be enough blame to go around in that industry, if the current acusations are proved correct.


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By masher2 (blog) on 8/2/2006 3:00:52 PM , Rating: 1
> "Sheesh masher, at a minimum, they operated in bad faith"

I don't dispute that in the least. Still, that doesn't make Rambus a monopoly, nor it helpful for the FCC to step in now, half a decade after the entire situation's been resolved. Rambus's bad faith caught up with them. They don't compete with memory manufacturers, they sell technology to them. When you treat your customers badly...they go elsewhere.


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By rrsurfer1 on 8/2/2006 3:06:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it really makes Rambus a monopoly, but it might fit the bill for violating article 2 of the sherman antitrust act - which is why the FTC called them such.

I don't know if I agree with you that the FTC ruling isn't helpful - I would be really suprised if this didn't overturn some of the rulings for Rambus and against other DRAM manufacturers. Which is a good thing because these litigation losses eventually get passed onto consumers.


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By masher2 (blog) on 8/2/2006 3:40:53 PM , Rating: 1
> " don't know if I agree with you that the FTC ruling isn't helpful - I would be really suprised if this didn't overturn some of the rulings for Rambus "

An FCC ruling won't affect a civil suit unless its still pending before a court. Even then, its unclear what effect it would have. A company that abuses monopoly power is liable for damages...but they still own their IP. Meaning they can legally bring suit for infringement. All this does is upon up the possibility of _future_ suits. Meaning more lawyers make money.

Remember one thing. Antitrust law exists to protect the consumer-- not other competitors. Let's look at how the market reacted to Rambus's actions. By their own admission, memory makers *lowered* DRAM prices to boost sales over RDRAM. That's good news for consumers, not bad.


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By Knish on 8/2/2006 10:58:37 PM , Rating: 2
Surely you mean FTC, not FCC?


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By ttowntom on 8/3/2006 7:29:42 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, sorry.


By Knish on 8/4/2006 2:55:03 PM , Rating: 2
ttowntom = masher?


RE: It just gets sillier and sillier
By TomZ on 8/2/2006 3:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't dispute that in the least. Still, that doesn't make Rambus a monopoly

It's interesting, because the wording of the FTC Press Release seems to talk about a notion of an IP monopoly. I'm not sure how to interpret this. Are they saying that Rambus had enough patents to make it difficult/impossible for an DRAM manufacturer to design any DRAM products at all? Or that they held a "technology monopoly," and as such were able to set licensing costs and actively work to keep others out of the market?

Calling patentman - are you there?


By rrsurfer1 on 8/2/2006 3:32:31 PM , Rating: 2
Based on article 2 of the sherman antitrust act it seems like you can have an IP monopoly, and indeed it seems the FTC agrees:

§ 2 Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2
Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty

Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $10,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $350,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding three years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.

But I thought IP was intended to create a monopoly in the short-term... but perhaps because Rambus was silent during the forming of the standard the FTC feels this is an extreme case... still it's hard to justify it.

patentman would probably be of assistance in this.


By Viditor on 8/2/2006 9:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's "market share" is, has been, and will always be, zero. Rather makes it difficult to hold a monopoly position

It's monopoly is the claimed IP of all memory standards in use for many years now (and many future standards including FBDIMM). So while it has a zero marketshare of the physical memory sticks, it has a 100% share of the IP for those sticks...

quote:
no one is able to 'conceal' patents

They are indeed allowed to, and Rambus did so under the Patent Pending rules. When a company applies for a patent, they are guaranteed rights to that patent even before it's granted. They may delay the final granting of a patent for as many as 40 years by updating the contents of the application. During that period, the contents of the patent are kept completely confidential.
The reason it was a crime is that Rambus was a leading member of JEDEC, and was helping to guide the industry standards for memory...all the while they held patents that would guarantee they received royalties on the future memory standard they were helping to decide on...
While it's true that Rambus pulled out of JEDEC before the standards were finalized, most of the damage had already been done.


Then tere should be more systems with Rambus
By hstewarth on 8/2/2006 12:56:32 PM , Rating: 1
If this was true than there should be more systems with Rambus and most system would not be using DDR and DDR2 ram.

But yes everyone claims monopoly - it really pitty full now - even some claim monopoly on competitor but joined together with another large company.




RE: Then tere should be more systems with Rambus
By Phynaz on 8/2/2006 1:07:21 PM , Rating: 3
RTFA, this is about DDR patents.


RE: Then tere should be more systems with Rambus
By rrsurfer1 on 8/2/2006 1:14:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's suprising how many people post not only without reading the referenced article, but without reading the DailyTech atricle either. It's like they read the headline and decide they have enough information to form an opinion and have to share their extensive knowledge on the topic...


RE: Then tere should be more systems with Rambus
By hstewarth on 8/2/2006 1:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe I mistated my statement - or it some misundertanding somewhere - even myself..

So is this actually about the DDR standard that everone uses today or its about Rambus memory that was in Old P4's Reading this article did not appear to me that it referring to the DDR/DDR2 memory that is use today..

All I was stating was if if this was true, it would mean that more computers that will using the Rambus memory (RD-Dram?? ) that was use in Original P4's.


By Vinnybcfc on 8/2/2006 3:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
FFS Basically Rambus patented certain technologys related to DDR RAM hid the patents so other companys developed the same technology then pounced on other companys claiming patent infringement


RE: Then tere should be more systems with Rambus
By kamel5547 on 8/2/2006 3:50:15 PM , Rating: 2
Rambus has pantents that cover SDRAM,RDRAM, DDR, DDR2...


Generally what happened was that Hynix, Samsung and Co decided they didn't like paying licensing fees so they kept the price of RDRAM high (by artificially restricting supply and increasing supply of SDRAM). It seems Rambus thought it'd be a good idea to get back at them by getting them to use patented technology for DDR, DDR2 and suing them afterward for licensing fees. Basically it comes down to JEDEC not having a good disclosure policy regarding patentss... as far as I'm concerened everybody was busy trying to screw everyone else (consumers included).


By hstewarth on 8/2/2006 5:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ok I understand the issue and this case, what Rambus did is very bad.. but I also hate stupid legal stuff. I assumed that DDR had this technology before Rambus patented, if not then it would be different story.


By AstroCreep on 8/2/2006 1:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
It's more for the whole squatting on and hiding of patents and copywrites, then going after the "Abusers" of said patents that is the problem that the FTC has with RAMBUS.


Pluralization
By WeaselITB on 8/2/2006 12:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
should be "Attorneys General"

</nitpick>




RE: Pluralization
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 8/2/2006 12:36:01 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks, I was not aware of that one actually.


This is great
By vtohthree on 8/2/2006 1:01:20 PM , Rating: 1
I wonder if samsung, hynix, micron, and the others that were accused of infringement will get their lawsuit dropped? I remember back in one of the other articles, they're were some good arguments against RAMBUS's lawsuit from fellow readers(namely masher2).

I like this because...potentially such lawsuits against the mainstream ram providers could cause them to raise their prices in order to pay for the lawsuit. However, if its thrown out, then we can let capitalism take its path.


RE: This is great
By vtohthree on 8/2/2006 1:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
oops, edit: "there* were"


RE: This is great
By shamrokkevin on 8/5/2006 8:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone read this. It's a copy of the ALJs initial decision of the FTC trial. After a brief skimming I can't for the life of me see how the full commision could have overturned this ruling. (Unless there was some sort of pressure from special interests) I've coppied a few snipplets from it. You can find a copy of it here, under FTC Initial decision. http://www.rambus.org/


"Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour is responsible for official opinion, and further adds “Through its successful strategy, Rambus was able to conceal its patents and patent applications until after the standards were adopted and the market was locked in. Only then did Rambus reveal its patents – through patent infringement lawsuits against JEDEC members who practiced the standard,” continues the official opinion."

It seems to me that Rambus neither concealed its patents nor did they had any duty to disclose its patents. What am I missing. Maybe the FTC is corupt after all.


802. Meyer also wrote a separate memorandum dated April 30, 1992 that stated in part
that " (t)he original idea behind the SDRAM is based on the basic principle of a simple pulse input
(IBM toggle pin) and the complex RAMBUS structure." (R 285A at 5). This memorandum
also demonstrates Meyer s awareness of similarities between the SDRAM device and the
RAMBUS structure. (See RX 285A at 5).


800. G. Kelley and Meyer were both aware, as of April 30, 1992, of a possibility that
Rambus might assert some intellectual property claims "due to the similarity of the SDRAM with
the RAMBUS storage device architecture." (R 286A at 2).



789. On April 23 , 1992, G. Kelley attended a presentation at IBM by Rambus founder
Mike Farmwald and Rambus executive David Mooring. (G. Kelley, Tr. 2631; RX 273 at 1).

790. According to handwritten notes of the April 23 , 1992 Rambus/IBM meeting a
Rambus representative stated at the meeting that Rambus intended to obtain "license fee +
royalties from IC company. " (CX 2355 at 1). The notes also state that Rambus "want(s) to set
industry std." (CX 2355 at 1).


797. Meyer prepared an April 30, 1992 memorandum reflecting the conference call which
states in part: "Rambus: Visited key in-house IBM users. IBM is stil keeping its eye on
RAMBUS. RAMBUS has announced a claim against Samsung for USD 10 millon due to the
similarity ofthe SDRAM with the RAMBUS storage device architecture. For that reason, IBM is
seriously considering to preemptively obtain a license as soon as possible (at an introductory
price)." (R 286A at 2; CX 2088 at 317- 19 (Meyer, Infneon Trial Tr.)).


787. Both the Siemens JEDEC representative, Wili Meyer, and the IBM JEDEC
representative, Gordon Kelley, were involved in the Siemens/IBM DRAM development efforts in
the spring of 1992. (G. Kelley, Tr. 2620-21). The efforts included a consideration of the Rambus
technology. (G. Kelley, Tr. 2627).


788. In March 1992, G. Kelley prepared a memorandum regarding Rambus. (RX 240 at
1). G. Kelley s March 19, 1992 memorandum refers to "unique (and probably patented) Rambus
protocol" and "special Microprocessor and DRAM interface (other than industry standard).
(R 240 at 1). G. Kelley s memorandum also states that he had asked an IBM in-house lawyer
to get me a copy of Rambus patents." (RX 240 at 1).



773. The contemporaneous documents show that the JEDEC patent policy encouraged
the disclosure of patents, not patent applications or intentions to file patent applications. The
minutes of the February 2000 meeting of the JEDEC Board of Directors state that disclosure of
patent applications is "not required under JEDEC bylaws." (R 1570 at 13). A few days after
the meeting, JEDEC Secretary Ken McGhee explained to the members of JEDEC 42.4 that the
disclosure of patent applications went "one step beyond" the policy and that even disclosure of
patents could not be required: "Disclosure of patents is a very big issue for Commttee members
and cannot be required of members at meetings." (R 1582 at 1).


142. During the early 1990' s Rambus s business model was well known in the industry.
Brett Willams, a JEDEC Solid State Technology Association ("JEDEC") representative for
Micron testified that in 1992
I knew it was (Rambus' s business model to patent their
technology, and that's how they would gain their revenues. " (Wiliams, Tr. 857). Similarly,
Martin Peisl of Infneon stated that he was aware of Rambus' s business model in the early 1990's
and expected Rambus to get patents to cover its technology. (Peisl, Tr. 4505).


855. At the September 1995 JEDEC meeting, Crisp presented a written response to the
questions about intellectual property that had been raised at the May 1995 meeting. The
statement included this passage:
At this time, Rambus elects to not make a specific comment on our
intellectual property position relative to the SyncLink proposal.
Our presence or silence at commttee meetings does not constitute
an endorsement of any proposal under the commttee
consideration nor does it make any statement regarding potential
intingement of Ram bus intellectual property.
(JX 27 at 26). Rambus s statement was published in full in the offcial JEDEC minutes ofthe
September 1995 meeting. (JX 27 at 26).


857. Intel representative Samuel Calvin testified that at that time, he understood from
Rambus s September 11 , 1995 statement that any silence by Rambus at JEDEC meetings should
not be taken as an indication that it did not have intellectual property relating to JEDEC' s work.
(Calvin, Tr. 1070).

858. In the course of the discussion of the Rambus letter at the September 1995
Commttee meeting, Crisp reminded the Commttee that Rambus in the past had reported a
Rambus patent to the Commttee, referring to the disclosure to the Commttee of the Rambus
703 patent in September 1993. (Crisp, Tr. 3312). Crisp "reminded them of the 14 patents
relating to SDRAMs, and that our silence was not an agreement that we have no IP related to
SyncLink, . . . (and I) reminded them that the member companies are constantly receiving patents
on things they are standardizing and that they seldom report the patents." (CX 711 at 167).


833. Meyer testified that in September 1992 he had prepared a presentation entitled
What Is Rambus?" (RX 321 at 1; CX 2089 at 66-67 (Meyer Infneon Trial Tr.)). Meyer
delivered this presentation to, among others, Dr. Schumacher, the current CEO ofInfneon.
(CX 2089 at 66-67 (Meyer, Infneon Trial Tr.


834. In his September 1992 presentation, Meyer referred to Rambus as a "deadly menace
to the established computer industry." (R 321 at 2). He also suggested that to "protect" the
computer industry, someone could "buy Rambus and dump it." (RX 321 at 3). Meyer testified
that he thought some of his competitors were so worried about Rambus that they might purchase
the entire company and "bury the technology." (CX 2089 at 89 (Meyer Infneon Trial Tr.


841. A few months later, in March 1994, Meyer prepared a memorandum about Rambus
for a Siemens engineering manager named Penzel. The memorandum stated in part that "(a)ll
computers will (have to be) built like this some day, but hopefully without royalties to
RAMBUS." (R 488A at 1; CX 2089 at 124 (Meyer, Infneon Trial Tr.)).

836. At the September 1993 meeting Crisp disclosed to the Commttee the issuance to
Rambus on September 7 1993 , of United States Patent No. 5 243 703. (Crisp, Tr. 3173; First
Set of Stipulations, Stip. 11).

837. The ' 703 patent was the first Rambus patent and had issued shortly before the
meeting. The ' 703 patent resulted tfom a divisional application of an original application, Serial
No. 07/510 898 ('898 application), filed in April 1990. (First Set of Stipulations, Stip. 11).




839. There was an additional discussion of Rambus' s PCT application at a JEDEC
meeting in September 1993 , after Rambus representative Richard Crisp disclosed that Rambus
had obtained its first U.S. patent (the ' 703 patent). According to Siemens s JEDEC
representative Will Meyer:



905. Rambus CEO, GeoffTate, testified that a statement in the June 1992 draft plan that
we believe that Sync DRAMs infinge on some claims in our filed patents" was based on a
feeling" that "synchronous DRAMs sure looked like they stemmed from (our) inventions.
(CX 543A at 17; CX 2073 at 221-22 (Tate, Micron Dep.)). Tate had "assumed" that broad
patent applications had been filed to protect all ofRambus s inventions. (CX 2073 at 222 (Tate
Micron Dep. ); CX 2088 at 57 (Tate, Infneon Trial Tr.

First, as a matter of patent law, it was entirely legitimate for Respondent to seek claims covering
technologies promoted by other JEDEC members that were originally disclosed in the ' 898
application. Second, as a matter of fact (discussed in F. 587-785 and the previous section of this
analysis) there was no disclosure obligation under the JEDEC patent policy which attached to
Rambus. As such, there can be no finding that Respondent, in violation of JEDEC rules
deliberately concealed proprietary technology from JEDEC that it was otherwise entitled to have.
The patent laws dictate that Rambus' s patents could be based only on the "ideas" or
inventions described in the original Farmwald-Horowitz patent application (the ' 898 application).
Thus, under law, Rambus could not have "taken" ideas from JEDEC to be incorporated into its
patent applications. The PTO' s determination that Rambus s numerous divisional and
continuation applications properly claim priority to the original' 898 application (F. 168- 78; see
Infineon 318 F. 3d at 1084) cannot be second guessed. The patent laws make clear that Rambus
was within its rights to protect the inventions disclosed in the ' 898 application that it saw being
considered for use by JEDEC members.











Looking at this from another angle
By fesodes on 8/2/2006 5:16:24 PM , Rating: 2
This is what I found regarding the FTC and rambus.

------------------------------------------------- -
Is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) corrupt?
29 April 2006 | PhilipFreneau

Posted on 04/29/2006 5:39:28 AM PDT by PhilipFreneau

For some time I have been following the legal dilemma of a computer memory design company, named RAMBUS, and their battles to retain their intellectual property rights against four memory manufacturing giants. The more I learn the more I believe the Federal Trade Commission is a corrupt bureaucracy. Perhaps the most comprehensive writing on this issue (in non-legalese) is the following letter I found on the Yahoo Rambus message board.

-------------------------------

"The Honorable Pete V. Domenici

United States Senate

328 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510-3101

Dear Senator Domenici,

I am writing you regarding an ongoing enforcement action by the FTC against Rambus, Inc. In June 2002 at the behest of Micron and Hynix, two DRAM manufacturers, the FTC filed a complaint against Rambus alleging that Rambus engaged in a pattern of anticompetitive and exclusionary acts and practices constituting unfair methods of competition. The trial, presided over by the FTC’s chief administrative law judge was completed in October 2003. It was the longest and most expensive trial in FTC history (outside consultants alone cost the government 1.1 million dollars). In February 2004 the judge produced a 340 page document called an initial decision which completely exonerated Rambus of any wrongdoing. The judge even went on to suggest that the testimony of many of the witnesses for the prosecution was less than truthful. The FTC commission has the final say in all FTC proceedings and must either accept or reject the initial decision. It has been over 2 years and the FTC has yet to decide. I have to ask why not?

During this same period the Department of Justice has been actively conducting an investigation of price fixing within the DRAM industry. This investigation has led to guilty pleas by Micron, Hynix, Samsung, Infineon, and Elpida, with over 700 million dollars in fines, and prison terms for some employees. Also a number of highly incriminating documents were produced during discovery in this investigation. Unfortunately, these documents only became known after the FTC trial completed. They provide conclusive evidence that the DRAM manufacturers colluded to drive Rambus out of business, they got together and talked about it and, together they fixed prices, together they restricted production, and together they filed simultaneous lawsuits against Rambus all across the country. Finally, the documents provide proof that the CEO of Micron, Steve Appleton, committed perjury during his testimony to the FTC.

The FTC knows about these documents but they have not asked the DOJ for them and Rambus has been prevented from providing them because they are under seal. Still the FTC hasn’t made a decision, they haven't concluded the case against Rambus and they haven't initiated any action against the real criminals in this story. Once again, I have to ask why not? They are just waiting, hoping that something, anything, will be found that they can used to convict Rambus.

Which brings me to the point of this letter, I am requesting a congressional investigation of the FTC. The following facts lead me to believe the FTC is being manipulated by Micron Technology through their political connections in an attempt to crush Rambus.

1. The FTC case was brought at the behest of Micron Technology and Hynix Corp. A nonprofit group, the Voluntary Trade Council, requested disclosure of documents related to the FTC’s case against Rambus under FOIA claiming ……”.There is substantial evidence that suggests the FTC conspired with 3 memory manufacturers to destroy Rambus through regulatory litigation.”. The FTC denied this request and the Voluntary Trade Council has appealed.

2. William Baer, the former director of the FTC Bureau of Competition now works for Arnold and Porter where he has represented Micron in their litigation against Rambus.

3. Timothy Muris, FTC Chairman from June 2001 to 2004 left the FTC for undisclosed reasons and later joined the Law Firm of O’Melveny and Myers who represented Hynix in the FTC case against Rambus.

4. Sean Royall, Deputy Director of the FTC Bureau of Competition June 2001 to 2003, left for undisclosed reasons. When he was appointed by Mr. Muris he was a partner at Gibson Dunn and Crutcher LLP in Los Angeles which represents Micron Technology. He acted as the chief prosecutor in the FTC case against Rambus. Upon completion of arguments in the case Mr. Royall resigned from the FTC and returned to Gibson and Dunn where he was made a partner. Who paid for his services? The FTC won’t say.

5. Robert Pitofsky, FTC Chairman 1995 to 2001 upon retirement from the FTC joined Arnold and Porter, key Rambus antagonists in the FTC case.

6. On 5/11/04 FTC Chairman Muris announced his plan to leave and be replaced by Deborah Majoras who at the time was employed by another law firm with a stake in the case versus Rambus.

7. Amicus Curiae Brief in support of the FTC Complaint Council’s Appeal was filed by Economics Professors and Scholars whose primary author was paid by Micron Technology.

8. On 4/22/2004 the original version of an FTC Complaint Council document appears to have been prepared by Micron lawyers. “Corrected” version appears 5/14/2004.

9. Congressman C.L. Otter is on the subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection which has oversight of the FTC. Congressman Otter has had a 30 year involvement with J.R. Simplot, the founder of Micron. Various members of the Simplot family paid Congressman Otter $237,371 in 2002 (twice his congressional salary).

This injustice has gone on far too long and is not over yet. As you have probably guessed I am a very unhappy Rambus shareholder, but I am also a constituent and I need your help. Please Senator, help shed some light on the FTC. They have betrayed their mandate to ensure competition in the marketplace for the benefit of one single company which happens to have tremendous political clout.

Sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Albuquerque, NM 87112

Cc: Senator Jeff Bingaman

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1623677/p...




RE: Looking at this from another angle
By MrPickins on 8/2/2006 9:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
None of the major corporate players in this situation seem to have any ethics. I'm not terribly surprised that the FTC wouldn't either. :(


By Knish on 8/2/2006 10:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed.


By TomZ on 8/3/2006 11:58:00 AM , Rating: 2
This letter seems to have a lot of compelling evidence, however, it does not openly state the source of many of its assertions. Therefore, IMO, it should be taken with a grain of salt. It is possible that this is a fabrication and/or exaggeration.


Wait, what?!
By mlittl3 on 8/2/2006 12:28:26 PM , Rating: 2
According to most of the consevative, capitalist fanbois out there, there is no such thing as a monopoly. Just good business practices. Yeah right.

PS. I'm in a bad mood today because I have to finish up my dissertation before Friday. :(




RE: Wait, what?!
By creathir on 8/2/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wait, what?!
By mlittl3 on 8/2/2006 4:45:15 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, as my post states, I am working on my dissertation which means I'm in school. I'm sure you can twist and turn a rationale saying that education institutions are capitalists but besides all that most schools are not labeled conservative or liberal, socialist or capitalists, however, some private schools might lable themselves in such a way (especially religious based schools) and people working in the school will label themselves.


RE: Wait, what?!
By TomZ on 8/2/06, Rating: 0
RE: Wait, what?!
By Samus on 8/3/2006 1:05:09 AM , Rating: 2
SAY THE OPPOSITE,
SAY THE OPPOSITE,
SAY THE SAME THING,
SAY THE SAME THING.


money back?
By puffpio on 8/2/2006 1:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
What about all the companies Rambus has already sued and gotten money out of..do they get their money back?




RE: money back?
By rrsurfer1 on 8/2/2006 1:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
Good question. I think they should get at leaast some of it back. But alas, my law experience is nil.


RE: money back?
By TomZ on 8/2/2006 3:23:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Good question. I think they should get at leaast some of it back. But alas, my law experience is nil.

Mine too, but I don't see how an FTC opinion would directly affect past judgements. If the FTC opinion were issued during or slightly after the original trial(s), maybe they could be used as evidence or as basis for appeal.

One wonders what the motivation is for this opinion to be issued now. Maybe it is a sign that other actions will be coming, like maybe a DOJ antitrust action against Rambus? Is that possible or likely at this point?


RE: money back?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/2/2006 4:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
They could appeal on the grounds that the patents should be invalidated on the grounds RAMBUS never intended to use the patented technology, but to coax other companies into using the technology without disclosing it was already patended by RAMBUS and thus paving the way for multimillion dollar lawsuitss


Ironic
By rupaniii on 8/2/2006 3:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
I was wondering when this would occur. How about an Intellectual Property Monopoly. See, they take what's known to be an engineering standards conference's agreement and run to the offices and 'Patent' the ideas. Rambus is nothing more than a den of thieves. At least Microsoft got to where it is by doing 'something'. What Rambus has done over the years would have them just shot or drawn and quartered in the last century or two. About all they have a monopoly on physically is RAM for the Sony Systems, so who cares. But their IP Funding is what keeps irritating the rest of the world.




...
By Clauzii on 8/4/2006 4:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
Heh..

We'll still get our memory, since the PC unfortunately can't run without :)

So all this was just waste of court time :S hmmm...




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