FTC Appeals Rambus Case To Supreme Court

     WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Trade Commission on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme to review the DC Court of Appeals decision in Rambus v FTC. The FTC found that Rambus had violated antitrust monopoly laws by withholding information about computer memory patents it was seeking while simultaneously serving on a standards-setting organization. The DC Circuit vacated the FTC ruling on appeal.

     The FTC sought a rehearing en banc, which the DC Circuit denied. So on Monday, the FTC sough certiorari at the U.S Supreme Court.
     The FTC claims that Rambus engaged in deceptive conduct as a participant in a standard-setting organization (SSO) by withholding vital information about the patents it was seeking, misleading SSO members about its patent interests, and using information it got through its SSO participation, to secretly amend patent applications to ensure that it would obtain patent interests in industry standards for computer memory technologies.
     After an administrative trial, the FTC found that such deception occurred, that it adversely affected competition in the standard-setting process, and that there was an adequate causal connection between the misconduct and Rambus’s achievement of monopoly power in four technology markets.
     Finding that Rambus’ conduct constituted unlawful monopolization under the standards of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, the Commission issued a cease and desist order under Section 5 of the FTC Act.
     On appeal, the Commission’s order was vacated by the D.C. Circuit. The Commission filed a petition for rehearing en banc, which the court denied, leading to the petition for certiorari filed with the U.S. Supreme Court.

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