Rambus Inc. develops and licenses technology that boosts the performance of computer memory chips. It pioneered the ground-breaking technology known as dynamic random-access memory, or DRAM, that is now a standard feature of personal computers. Headquartered in Los Altos, Calif., Rambus has regional offices in North Carolina, Ohio, India, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan.
The company has a long history of defending its patents with litigation, and Rambus's stock price often rises and falls based on its success or failure in court. The legal news has been mostly good of late. Memory chip giant Samsung Electronics Co. recently agreed to pay $900 million to Rambus over five years as part of a deal to settle a memory-chip lawsuit. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Rambus in rejecting an appeal by the Federal Trade Commission, which had sued the company for anti-trust violations.
Still, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2009 rejected 41 patent-infringement claims made by Rambus agains chipmaker Nvidia Corp.. Rambus is also pursuing patent-infringement lawsuits against two other leaders of the memory chip market, Micron Technology Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor Inc.