Case ID: 704500
Solution ID: 1483

Rambus Inc 2004

Case Solution

Examines the role of technology licensing in strategies for high-technology companies. In the 1990s, Rambus developed a revolutionary memory technology that would improve the ability of DRAMs to keep pace with ever-faster microprocessors. To commercialize the technology, Rambus licensed the technology to several DRAM vendors, who had to agree to allow Rambus to cross-license any improvements a licensee made to all other licensees. In its attempt to set the standard for the industry, Rambus faced competition from higher frequency versions of standard DRAMs; a consortium of DRAM manufacturers and systems companies, known as the SyncLink Consortium; and an alternative DRAM technology known as Double Data Rate SDRAM. Rambus' relationship with Intel, the dominant producer of microprocessors, didn't prove as successful as either party would have liked. Even more devastating to Rambus was its litigation with several of its customers, the DRAM vendors, and a suit by the Federal Trade Commission. Although most of the lawsuits against Rambus had been dropped in 2004, Rambus needed a new strategy to rebuild its business for the future.

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