Rambus Appeals California Antitrust Trial Loss to Hynix, Micron

Rambus Inc. (RMBS) appealed its loss of a $3.95 billion jury trial over its allegations that Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc. (000660) conspired to prevent its memory chips from becoming an industry standard.

The November verdict sent Rambus shares down as much as 78 percent, the biggest one-day loss since the company went public in 1997. Micron rose as much as 25 percent, the most since its initial public offering in 1984.

A state court jury in San Francisco by a 9-3 vote rejected Rambus’s claims that Boise, Idaho-based Micron and Hynix, based in Ichon, South Korea, are liable for colluding to manipulate prices of dynamic random access memory, or DRAM, chips in violation of California antitrust law. Rambus’s notice of appeal is dated April 3.

“While we cannot predict how or when the appellate court will decide our appeal, we believe that mistakes made during the trial require reversal of the judgment,” Rambus spokeswoman Linda Ashmore said in an e-mailed statement.

Jurors found by the same vote, after deliberating since Sept. 22, that the two companies didn’t plot to interfere with Rambus’s business relationship with Intel Corp. (INTC) and drive the world’s largest chipmaker away from its collaboration on RDRAM, or Rambus-designed memory, that began in the 1990s.

There are no “meritorious grounds” for Rambus’s filing “but they certainly have the right to an appeal,” Hynix lawyer Ken Nissley said in an e-mail.

Micron spokesman Dan Francisco didn’t immediately return a call or e-mail seeking comment.

The case is Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc., 04-0431105, California Superior Court (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in San Francisco at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net

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