As we all know, Rambus Inc. is more known for their litigation practices than their products. However, those litigious practices tend to tie the value of the company with the legal department rather than the engineering and sales ones.
When you lose "the big one", markets will certainly punish you. We have seen that with Intel in the days of Bruce Sewell running the show (currently at Apple, running all those lawsuits we write about), and we have certainly witnessed it today.
San Francisco jury rejected the Rambus antitrust lawsuit against Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor. By ruling 9-3 in favor of the defendants, the court ruled that the sued companies did not form a pact to block Rambus from entering the DRAM market.
Rambus RDRAM had its 15 minutes of fame when Intel briefly used it with the Pentium III and 820 chipset, as well as with the single Pentium 4 chipset. If you recall, the decision to use RDRAM backfired spectacularly with the infamous "Caminogate" scandal that saw Intel losing over a billion dollars in a product recall. Caminogate also erased 70 billion dollars of Intel's market value during one hot summer day in 2000. Today, Rambus XDR memory is mostly found in PlayStation consoles… and that's about it. At the end of the day, it is Hynix and Micron who ultimately decide what type of memory will they manufacture, not the other way around.
Rambus claimed that Hynix and Micron damaged the company to the tune of four billion dollars and expected that the jury would increase that by the factor of three or four. However, nine members of the jury voted against and the case is dismissed, prompting a quick reaction on Wall Street.
RMBS stock lost 60% of its market value and now Rambus Inc. is worth less than one billion U.S. dollars. 781.82 million dollars, to be more precise. We will monitor this situation closely.