Samsung hit with $303 million fine for memory chip patent infringement

Samsung was hit with a $303 million fine after Netlist convinced a federal jury that the South Korean tech giant infringed upon several of its patents related to semiconductor memory chips. It was alleged that Samsung Electronics willfully infringed upon Netlist’s memory chip patents, and the jury was convinced of the same after a six-day trial in Marshall, Texas, in the US.

Netlist Inc., which is a California-based firm that designs and sells SSDs, was working with Samsung on a project, after which the South Korean firm reportedly took the memory module technology and used it in its memory chips used in cloud computing servers. Netlist then sued Samsung Electronics in 2021 and demanded a $404 million fine in damages.

The technology in question increases the power efficiency of memory modules and allows users to derive useful information from vast amounts of data in a shorter time. Samsung argued that the technology it uses in its memory products works differently to achieve the same thing and said that Netlists patents are invalid.

It has been alleged that other firms, including Google and SK Hynix, have also infringed upon patented technologies developed by Netlist. These technologies are related to the handshaking mechanism of various memory chips (RDIMM and LRDIMM) with the host systems such as enterprise cloud computing servers. Netlist’s stocks jumped 21% after the lawsuit’s results were revealed.

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