(Associated Press via NewsEdge) US-based memory chip designer Rambus could be forced to pay damages or lower its prices because of a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruling that the company deceived a standards-setting committee.
Rambus stock sank more than 20%.
The ruling reverses a decision from 2004, when an FTC administrative law judge ruled that Rambus was not liable in the matter.
Rambus senior legal adviser John Danforth said the Los Altos, California-based company plans to appeal.
The case has hinged on whether Rambus illegally obtained a monopoly in the 1990s when it secured patents for two popular types of memory used in personal computers. Rambus was accused of failing to disclose to an engineering council that its patents had been incorporated into an industry standard regarding memory technology.
Rambus, which designs the technology that computers use to store data in memory, has emphasized for several years that it disclosed the patents to memory makers Micron Technology and Hitachi before the standards-setting discussions begun.
Rambus attorneys have also argued that disclosure policies of the council, the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council Solid State Technology Association, failed to specify what Rambus should have revealed to the standards committee.
Danforth said he was disappointed by the 119-page ruling, which reserves the right to impose 'remedies' to be determined by a judge. Danforth said he was hopeful that the company can reduce the impact of the remedies.
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