FTC Appeals D.C. Circuit Order In Rambus Case

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Trade Commission claims the D.C. Circuit misunderstood patent law in finding Rambus Corp. a “lawful monopolist,” though the memory chip-maker abused its power as a member of a standards-setting organization to acquire that monopoly.

     The FTC seeks a rehearing en banc of the court’s April 22 order setting aside the FTC’s final order that Rambus cease and desist.
     “The proceeding involved an issue of exceptional importance, in that the panel’s failure to recognize the competitive harm that anticompetitive deception causes in the context of industry standard-setting organizations constitutes a significant error that has grave implications for beneficial industry standard-setting,” the FTC says.
     It claims the federal court panel’s decision “is inconsistent with the causation standard for monopolization articulated by this Court’s en banc decision in United States v. Microsoft Corp., 253 F.3rd 34 (D.C. Cir. 2001).”
     And the FTC claims, “The panel decision improperly extends the Supreme Court’s holding in holding in NYNEX v. Discon, Inc., 525 U.S. 128 (1998), to protect a firm’s use of deception to achieve monopoly power.”

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