Samsung is facing a huge fine for infringing on memory patents

Court gavel
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Samsung is set to pay out $303 million in a settlement to California-based SSD and modular memory subsystem maker Netlist for infringing the company’s patents.

Initially accused of infringing on three of the company’s patents, Netlist later doubled its allegation to cover six patents as it took Samsung to court.

Following an almost week-long trial, Samsung was found to have breached Netlist’s patents and ordered to pay $303.15 million.

Samsung fined for infringing on patents

The patents in question are ‘506: Memory Module With Timing-Controlled Data Buffering; ‘339: Memory Module With Controlled Byte-Wise Buffers; ‘918: Flash-DRAM Hybrid Memory Module; ‘054: Flash-DRAM Hybrid Memory Module, ‘060: Method and Apparatus for Optimizing Driver Load in a Memory Package; and its continuation, ‘160: Memory Package with Optimized Driver Load and Method of Operation.

Under scrutiny from Netlist and the Texas court were Samsung’s DDR4 LRDIMM, DDR5 UDIMM, SODIMM, RDIMM, HBM2, HBM2E, and HBM3 technologies.

Although Samsung was found, for the most part, guilty, the court only ruled in favor of three-quarters of the $404 million for which Netlist had claimed, accounting for five quarters’ worth of damages.

Patents ‘060 and ‘160 ended up being the most costly for Samsung, accounting for $162 million of the total fine. A touch under $147.5 million went towards patents ‘054 and ‘918, while the ‘339 patent was awarded a value of $33 million.

Netlist CEO, CK Hong, explained: “The jury verdict left no doubt that Samsung not only willfully infringed Netlist patents, but currently uses Netlist technology without a license on strategic products which collectively represent the future of Samsung's memory business,” adding that the company was pleased with the outcome.

A Samsung spokesperson told TechRadar Pro:

"We will review the jury verdict, and will make our arguments before the court."

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!