Rambus liberated by the Feds

Seven years of litigation between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and an obscure memory IP firm has finally come to an end.

The FTC has decided to drop any further litigation against Rambus, a company that was once so close to Intel that they were considered twins by some.

Seven years ago, the FTC claimed Rambus (tick: RMBS) concealed plans to patent technologies to do with memory. This was the then famous case that an employee of Rambus entered memory standards board JEDEC while concealing patent plans.

According to a statement from the FTC, which really was on Rambus’ case, there is now no further point to further litigation.

The legend back in the late 1990s and early in the 21st century was that Rambus, which is an intellectual property company, spent more on lawyers’ fees than on developing future memory technologies.

That stung Rambus so much that it suddenly started to become somewhat realistic and even talked to journalists that were probing what the relationship was between it and DRAM companies, never mind Intel (tick: INTC). Intel eventually decided to plump for the non-RMBS standard, DDR memory.

The details of the relationship between Rambus and Intel have never properly been explained. But an insider at Intel said at the time that when Rambus started becoming the story rather than the chip giant, it was time to distance itself from the firm.

Not that Rambus is out of the woods yet. There is a number of legal battles remaining, particularly with Korean companies Hynix and Samsung, over the matter of royalties.

But at least America is finally off Rambus’ back. Rambus’ share price stood at $12.39 on NASDAD, way way down from the dreamy days when it was worth an absolute fortune, thanks to Intel.