Technology StocksRambus (RMBS) - Eagle or Penguin

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From: Don Green11/17/2011 3:50:18 PM
   of 93602
Rambus Shares Jumped: What You Need to Know

Anders Bylund
November 17, 2011

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of memory technologist Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS ) jumped as much as 20.2% in very heavy morning action, reversing some of Wednesday's 60% plunge.

So what: Rambus lost a very important round in legal battles with Micron Technology (Nasdaq: MU ) yesterday, and the stock was totally smashed as a result. This move continues the modest bounce that Rambus performed last night -- the sellers got a bit ahead of themselves in the heat of the action.

Now what: Call it "oversold" or "dead cat bounce" -- the effect is the same. For what it's worth, today's climb flies in the face of a downgrade to "hold" at JPMorgan. If Rambus files for an appeal and the stock takes off again, that ratings change won't look all that smart.

That said, Rambus lives and dies by court decisions, so the stock may have lost most of its substance yesterday. Stay tuned to see how management handles this situation -- in particular, heavy insider selling and staffing changes would be signs that the company has given up, while the reverse would signal another dance at a higher-level court.

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To: hdl who wrote (93464)11/17/2011 3:51:37 PM
From: Don Green
1 Recommendation   of 93602

Rambus was looked at by most as the ultimate patent troll, not a victim, it seemed obvious for years.

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To: Don Green who wrote (93466)11/17/2011 3:59:16 PM
From: hdl
   of 93602
that was the thinking, bias. but, it was wrong. alj wrote a great, detailed, logical report. case showed rmbs should win. i think jurors heard scuttlebutt that rmbs was a patent troll, which it wasn't.

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From: Don Green11/17/2011 10:24:29 PM
   of 93602
Rambus defeat raises doubts, challenges loyalty
5:15pm EST
By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) - Long-time Rambus investors licked their wounds and pondered their loyalty on Thursday after a crushing legal defeat that underscores the risks companies face when they rely heavily on litigation.

Retiree Jim Rockwell lost 80 percent of his savings on Wednesday when Rambus was defeated in a $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor.

"I thought 80 percent that Rambus would win something. I didn't think they'd win nothing," said Rockwell, who lives in Orange. Connecticut and has invested in Rambus for more than a decade. "I don't know what I'm going to do now."

Nearly two thirds of Rambus' stock value evaporated after jurors emerged from over eight weeks of deliberation and rejected claims by Rambus that Micron and Hynix colluded to fix memory chip prices and discourage the adoption of its technology in the late 1990s, which they would have had to pay to use.

Shares of Rambus bounced back somewhat on Thursday with a 23 percent gain to $8.78, leaving them at about half their pre-verdict price.

The Sunnyvale, California company's goal has been to generate revenue by licensing its intellectual property to other memory chip companies rather than manufacturing chips itself.

The importance of patents has heated up this year, with tech giants like Apple, Samsung and Sony spending billions of dollars to acquire patents related to smartphones and other gadgets or suing rivals over intellectual property.

Companies that specialize in acquiring patents and then licensing them out are also attracting more attention. Some are seen as potentially lucrative, like Acacia Research. But Rambus' defeat underscores the volatile nature of that sort of business.

"Companies that make money off of patents rather than products face significant risks to their business model as each important case, in a sense, is a bet-the-company litigation," said Colleen Chien, a professor at Santa Clara Law.

"This case shows me that a business model built on litigation and licensing is anything but a sure thing," Chien said.


Rambus has run up more than $300 million in legal bills since it was founded by two professors in 1990, equivalent to $1 million per employee. It has sued the biggest names in the business for infringing some of its more than 1,000 patents.

Rockwell and other supporters over the years have seen Rambus as a David battling semiconductor Goliaths. During the trial, shareholders chipped in to pay for the lunches of members who attended the trial and posted progress reports.

Wednesday's verdict, which may be appealed, was the culmination of years legal fighting and the loss leaves Rambus with a smattering of lower-profile patent cases and ongoing revenue of about $100 million a quarter from licensing agreements.

It was the second major defeat for the Silicon Valley semiconductor designer this year. In May, a court ruled it had been wrong to shred hundreds of boxes of documents relevant to two patent-infringement lawsuits involving Micron and Hynix.

Hamed Khorsand, one of a handful of analysts who follows Rambus, still recommends its shares, saying he expects more licensing revenues, including through the recent acquisition of security technology firm Cryptography Research.

"The (jury) decision clears out investors scavenging for a court mandated windfall. Now that the lotto ticket has come up empty, the focus of remaining investors will turn to the core operating business at Rambus," said Khorsand, who works at BWS Financial.

Capstone Investments analyst Jeff Schreiner dropped coverage of Rambus within minutes of Wednesday's verdict, saying there was no point continuing to follow the company he dedicated 10 years to.

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To: Don Green who wrote (93468)11/18/2011 12:57:20 AM
From: hdl
   of 93602
1.a.) FTC Initial Decision (a definitive document about Rambus history)

1.b.) FTC Chief Administrative Law Judge (retired) Stephen J. McGuire visits Investors Village

1.c.) US Court of Appeals District of Columbia Appeal (setting aside the erroneous FTC Verdict against Rambus)

2) Excellent Expose' on Micron's Price Fixing by an ABC affiliate in Boise (this is Micron's own hometown TV station telling the story)

3) Bloomberg article on DRAM Price Fixing

4) Micron Amnesty Agreement (Did they meet the published DOJ criteria listed for amnesty?)

5) Hung Jury in DOJ attempted prosecution of Gary Swanson of Hynix, Juror Foreperson Phillis McCaughey says “Mike Sadler, we all felt was a lying sack of shit,” and the “ringleader” of a conspiracy to fix prices where Micron cut an amnesty deal with the DOJ.

6) Boise TV Station article on Micron Price Fixing

7.a.) Samsung USDOJ Plea Agreement (clearly spells out price fixing of RDRAM, see 4.d. of document)

7.b.) Infineon Sentencing Memorandum (clearly spells out RDRAM, see page 3 line 3)

7.c.) Elpida US DOJ Plea Agreement (clearly spells out price fixing of RDRAM, see paragraph 1)

7.d.) Hynix Plea Agreement (never made production quantities of RDRAM, but did fix prices on DRAM and boycott RDRAM)

8) US States Attorney General Complaint against the DRAM Cartel (pages 10-21 are notable)

9) The story of Rambus (thanks Arno…for creating Rambus.Org)

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To: hdl who wrote (93469)11/18/2011 2:27:30 PM
From: Don Green
   of 93602
Thanks for the links I cause some college legal professor can use them for references for a book or a course next year.

Rambus Loses Long-Running 4 Billion Dollar Lawsuit Against Micron and Hynix
Posted by Sheila Ring on November 18, 2011 10:14 AM

Rambus lost a $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor on Wednesday.

Rambus lost a long-running $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor on Wednesday.

A jury ruled against Rambus in a case against memory makers Micron and Hynix, with retiree Jim Rockwell losing 80 percent of his savings, reports Reuters.

In the case, which began in 2004, the San Francisco County Superior Court jury found that neither Micron or Hynix conspired to fix the price of memory chips.

It also found that the memory makers had not conspired with other manufacturers like Intel and Samsung to prevent Rambus from gaining traction in the market.

Following more than eight weeks of deliberation, the jury’s vote was nine to three, and Rambus’ stock lost about 60 percent of its value after the verdict was announced.

Rambus claimed in a statement, “Upon succeeding in eliminating RDRAM as a competitor in the main memory market, the defendants raised the prices of DDR by as much as 500 percent,” Reuters reports.

Micron says it presented evidence showing that Rambus’ memory products weren’t adopted by the broader memory market.

They attributed this to higher manufacturing costs, design issues, and fundamental obstacles posed by Rambus’ business practices, rather than any conspiracy on the part of Rambus’ rivals.

Rambus had been expecting a positive outcome from its case against Micron, in part because, under California law, jury findings of antitrust violations are automatically tripled. Instead, Micron and Hynix have been cleared of all charges, Business Week reports.

“We do not agree with several rulings that affected how this case was presented to the jury and we are reviewing our options for appeal,” said Rambus president and CEO Harold Hughes.

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To: Brasco One who wrote (93443)11/18/2011 6:00:43 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
   of 93602
I don`t think there is a hurry to get back in right now. I think the next patent infringement suit is months off and the stock will trade with the direction of the overall market for now, which is very volatile.

It usually takes a while for a stock to settle down and find a new base once it has such a dramatic sell off. It is essentially now a damaged story stock. It will take time to develop the next chapter in the story.

Keep in mind this series of legal cases have been going on for a decade and unlike other patent infringement cases there have not been the clear series of wins that would force the plaintiffs to settle.

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From: hdl11/18/2011 11:40:58 PM
   of 93602
the jury was 7 to 5 for rmbs for a month and ended 9 to 3 for the price fixers.

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To: hdl who wrote (93472)11/19/2011 1:36:08 PM
From: Don Green
   of 93602
Rambus jury shifted views as deliberations wore on
Fri, Nov 18 2011
By Dan Levine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - When he walked into the jury room to start deliberating in Rambus Inc's $4 billion antitrust lawsuit against two rivals, one juror felt confident that the small microchip designer should prevail.

But after weeks of discussion, he and several others were slowly swayed to the other side. When the last anonymous vote was taken on Wednesday morning, the jury dealt Rambus a stunning blow, deciding the company did not prove Micron Technology Inc and Hynix Semiconductor Inc colluded to fix memory-chip prices and discourage adoption of its technology.

"We didn't see the smoking gun," said the juror, speaking by telephone to Reuters after the verdict. The juror added that he was the first pro-Rambus member to defect and was "very comfortable" with the outcome.

Attempts to reach other jurors were not successful. The panel included people with a range of backgrounds, including a retired medical secretary and a software company employee who owns his own patent.

After the verdict, Rambus said it was analyzing its options for appeal. A Micron attorney said the outcome sent a message to other companies trying to win in the courts instead of the market, while a Hynix lawyer said it banished claims of a price-fixing conspiracy.

Rambus lost over $1.2 billion, or 61 percent, of its market value on Wednesday after the verdict was read in a California state courtroom in San Francisco. The stock has bounced back slightly since then, but it still traded Friday at roughly half its pre-verdict level.

Investors had bid up Rambus' share price based on years of aggressive, and often successful, litigation.

The Sunnyvale, California, company has attracted a loyal following of small investors who see it as a memory-chip David battling Goliaths. Many investors contribute to a vigorous online message board where they discuss Rambus and ongoing cases; some showed up in court to watch the recent trial.


The juror who spoke to Reuters did not want his name revealed, citing angry online comments about the jury after the verdict. "This jury are a bunch lazy, morons, that took advantage of the system!" one commenter wrote.

"I just don't see how this jury was not bought off," wrote another.

The juror dismissed the comments, saying the panel tried to be comprehensive and fair.

"I thought about it, thought seriously about the case, reviewed my own oath, and really had to come to terms with the fact that there was no evidence," he said.

Rambus was founded by two professors in 1990. It has long tried to generate revenue by licensing its intellectual property to other companies rather than making chips itself, and has sued technology heavyweights for infringing its stable of patents.

The verdict surprised many Rambus investors, perhaps in part because the company had settled antitrust and IP claims against Samsung Electronics in 2010 for $900 million.

That may have led Rambus to believe its strategic position was better than it actually was, said James Hopenfeld, an IP attorney who was not involved in the case.

"You can imagine Rambus is thinking, 'Gosh we're big in our britches, we've got $900 million from Samsung,'" said Hopenfeld, who has followed Rambus' myriad court battles.

Rambus' did not respond to questions about its calculus for taking the case to trial.


At trial, Rambus' attorneys hammered on an email sent by Micron executive Linda Turner. Turner said in the email that Micron had been requesting that Infineon, Samsung and Hynix lower their prices, which would help "drive Rambus'

away completely."

Micron contended the email was meant to be sarcastic.

The juror told Reuters he did not think the email demonstrated a conspiracy on its own, as there were no corresponding emails from the other companies confirming an agreement to fix prices. Thus the defense explanation - that Turner was being sarcastic - could have been true, he said.

Rambus' also claimed its rivals disrupted its relationship with Intel. In the late 1990s, Intel agreed to use Rambus'' proprietary computer memory chip technology, rather than the industry standard memory chips. But the relationship between Rambus' and Intel soured a couple years before the contract ended in 2002.

A former Intel executive called by the defense described anger toward Rambus' among his colleagues when they learned of Rambus'' plans to sue rivals, instead of making their partnership with Intel a success. Because the evidence from Intel itself tilted against Rambus', the juror said it was difficult to credit Rambus'' allegations.

An Intel spokesman declined to comment on the case.


The three-month trial ended in September, and the jury deliberated for more than eight weeks. Overall the juror described the discussions as occasionally heated but always respectful, and said the group talked of planning a party together sometime soon.

Going into the deliberations, seven of the 12 jurors sided with Rambus', this person said. Nine was the minimum number needed to deliver a verdict.

The jury deadlocked at 7-5 in Rambus'' favor for more than a month, and then, one by one, members began to change their minds.

John Danforth, a former general counsel at Rambus' who still owns company stock, said some important evidence was barred from being presented to the jury -- including facts about how a separate U.S. Department of Justice investigation into price fixing played out.

Several companies, including Hynix, pleaded guilty to price fixing in the DRAM computer memory market. During the Rambus' trial, an attorney for Hynix acknowledged the 2005 plea, saying Hynix cooperated and took responsibility for its actions.

Because the jury repeatedly was told it could only consider Hynix's guilty plea for limited purposes, the price fixing probe did not play a large role in the deliberations, the juror said.

Micron cut a deal with DOJ to avoid prosecution, and the juror said that had he known of the company's role in the probe, it may have made a difference in his deliberations.

Along with Samsung, Infineon also reached a civil settlement with Rambus' before trial, and the juror said he also learned of those details after the trial was over. Had he known, the juror said it would have mattered in deliberations.

After the verdict, Rambus' signaled that some of these issues might be part of its appeal. "We do not agree with several rulings that affected how this case was presented to the jury," Chief Executive Harold Hughes said in a statement.

Ultimately, the juror told Reuters, deliberations took so long because the panel had to sift through a mountain of information - and because they were so deadlocked.

"It wasn't the sandwiches," he said.

The case in Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Francisco is Rambus' Inc. v. Micron Technology Inc. et al, 04-431105.

(Additional reporting by Noel Randewich and Laird Harrison in San Francisco, and Alison Frankel in New York; Editing by Edward Tobin and Matthew Lewis)

© Thomson Reuters 2011. All rights reserved.

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To: Brasco One who wrote (93445)11/20/2011 12:10:50 AM
From: Skywatcher
1 Recommendation   of 93602
another witty five year old comment...

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