Netlist Files a Patent Infringement

Netlist Inc., (a US-based company specializing in developing and manufacturing computer memory subsystems), has quite recently filed a Patent Infringement lawsuit against SK Hynix (a South Korean semiconductor company specializing in building and designing advanced memory and image sensor products) in the Texas Western District Court. The asserted patents are crucial to various DDR4 memory module standards promulgated by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC), which is the standard-setting body for the microelectronics industry.

The patents in the lawsuit filed are US Patent Nos. 9,858,218 (“the ‘218 patent”) and 10,474,595 (“the ‘595 patent”). These patents generally correspond to memory modules and printed circuit boards, which contain DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory) integrated circuits. After getting installed into a computer, a printed circuit board serves as temporary storage or working memory. Both the US Patent No. 9,858,218 (“the ‘218 patent”) and the US Patent No. 10,474,595 (“the ‘595 patent”) correspond to memory modules operating in two unique modes, where, in one mode, the module performs the memory read or write operations, and in the other mode, it performs operations related to one or more training sequences.

As a leading innovator in high-performance memory module technologies nowadays, Netlist has alleged that SK Hynix has infringed upon the asserted patents both directly and indirectly. According to Netlist, SK Hynix has made use of the printed circuit board with an edge connection that fits well into the slots of the host system for communication. The two infringing SK Hynix products include the Registered Dual In-line Memory Modules (RDIMM) and the Load Reduced Dual In-line Memory Modules (LRDIMM). Netlist manufactures products for cloud computing, virtualization, and exceedingly high-performance computing markets. The infringing SK Hynix products are designed for use in servers, including the ones supporting cloud-based computing and several other data-intensive applications. Netlist has claimed that its patents and the complaint filed are compliant with JEDEC’s patent policy. It also stated that it had contacted SK Hynix to discuss licensing its patents for LRDIMM and RDIMM, which didn’t prove to be fruitful.

Netlist Inc. is now looking forward to seeking a declaratory judgment, an award for costs, compensation for damages, and other relief as ruled by the Texas Western District Court.