NEC hit by memory patent suit

NEC hit by memory patent suit

Enhanced Memory Systems has filed a patent infringement complaint against NEC Electronics and related affiliates alleging that NEC's Virtual Channel Memory DRAM design infringes a patent owned by Enhanced.

In its suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose, Enhanced seeks an injunction and an unspecified amount of damages.

"The patent we are asserting protects the unique architecture of our Enhanced DRAM products that combine DRAM and SRAM technologies into one high performance memory," said L. David Sikes, chairman and chief executive of Ramtron, Enhanced Memory Systems' parent.

Patents were awarded to Enhanced in 1997 and earlier this year covering the key architecture and method of operation of Enhanced DRAM (EDRAM), and Enhanced has 12 additional patent applications pending that relate to this technology, according to the statement.

"Because litigation is pending, we cannot discuss the merits of our case," said Craig Rhodine, Enhanced Memory Systems' vice president and general manager.

"We just received the complaint," said an NEC representative. "Our legal people are studying it."

Enhanced has EDRAM manufacturing agreements with Siemens and IBM, and is pursuing other partnerships to advance its EDRAM technology.

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