SERIAL LITIGATOR Rambus has been grilled over allegations that it destroyed documents that would harm it in a legal dispute against Nvidia.
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Judge Kathleen O'Malley, one of three hearing the case, wasn't best pleased with Rambus' legal filings after the firm admitted that it had destroyed documents. Judge O'Malley said, "You admit you have no idea what was destroyed! You have no record of what was destroyed!"
Judge O'Malley wasn't done yet, claiming Rambus had selectively kept documents that would help the firm in its case against Nvidia. "Remember, you saved the ones that helped you and destroyed the ones that hurt you," said the judge.
The dispute between Nvidia and Rambus has run long and deep, with Nvidia having to pay Rambus somewhere between one and two per cent royalties on memory controllers to flog products in the US. The US International Trade Commission ruled that Nvidia infringed three of Rambus' patents, though it didn't address the question of whether Rambus had destroyed documents that could have been used against it.
In separate cases involving Rambus, Micron and Hynix, it was discovered that Rambus did indeed destroy documents inappropriately. Those cases have since been remanded back down to lower courts for further consideration.
Rambus claims that the documents were destroyed as part of its normal business practices. However, if the court finds that Rambus employed dirty tricks to hide damaging evidence, Nvidia could end up saving a bit of cash and getting one over on a company that is widely disliked in the information technology industry. µ