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Is this Finally the End of the Rambus v. Micron Evidence Spoliation Case?

Posted on January 21st, 2013

The patent dispute case Micron v. Rambus, Civ. No. 00-792-SLR (D. Del.) has been ongoing for a few years now with a new order issued January 2, 2013. As a reminder, there were several instances of alleged litigation misconduct, including a Rambus witness recanting testimony regarding the document retention policy, and the company conducting “shred days” of important and relevant documents.

The Delaware district court entered its findings that Rambus had engaged in unlawful spoliation of discoverable relevant documents. It entered a sanction against Rambus—that the patents-in-suit were unenforceable against Micron (i.e. they dismissed Rambus’ claims). Rambus appealed; the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed in part, vacated in part and remanded the case to reconsider the determination of bad faith and prejudice with more explicit instructions.

The Federal Circuit Court affirmed the finding of spoliation, but vacated the lower court’s choice of sanction because the judge did not fully explain why dismissal would fulfill the three aims of spoliation sanctions:

1. Deterring future spoliation of evidence;

2. Protecting Micron’s interests; and

3. Remedying the prejudice suffered by Micron.

In following the Federal Circuit’s orders, the district court reconsidered the issues and revisited the finding of bad faith when Rambus engaged in spoliation, as well as the nature and extent of prejudice suffered by Micron. The district court must then consider the appropriate sanction after making such findings.

Did the court find Rambus acted in bad faith regarding the recanted testimony about the document retention policy and the “shred days?” If so, will they agree that dismissal of the patent claims against Micron be the appropriate sanction? More on the latest Rambus v. Micron court decision on Wednesday.

ILS – Plaintiff eDiscovery Experts

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