Chipmaker Micron and the former chip designer turned patent troll Rambus have finally ended a 12 year court battle.
The two have been regulars in court since 1990. Rambus sought license fees and threatened infringement lawsuits against memory makers who turned to the popular SDRAM standard over its own proprietary RDRAM spec.
Rambus insisted that its patents and inventions also applied to SDRAM. Now the two sides have agreed to a broad patent cross licence agreement that grants Micron the right to use any Rambus patent for the manufacture of specified integrated circuit products, including memory products. Rambus will receive quarterly royalty payments for the next seven years, of up to $10 million per quarter, along with a rolling 12-month cap fixed at $40 million, or $280 million during the initial term.
After seven years Micron will have the option to extend the agreement for additional renewal periods under initial terms. In addition, this cross patent license agreement deems all outstanding patent and antitrust claims null and void, including those with Elpida, which Micron acquired earlier this year.
Dr. Ron Black, president and chief executive officer at Rambus said the agreement puts years of legal disputes behind both companies and opens doors for future cooperation.
It has been a good year for Rambus. It also settled with Hynix earlier this year as part of a $240 million patent licensing agreement. Rambus has also made licence agreements with Nvidia and Broadcom over the years.