District Court in Delaware Sanctions Rambus for spoliation, declares Rambus' patents unenforceable (01/23/09)

In Micron v. Rambus the district court in Delaware held that Micron was prejudiced by Rambus' conduct in destroying discoverable and relevant to anticipated litigation with Micron. The court was “not prepared to rely on Rambus' generally assertive approach to business to answer the question before the court.”1) In determining sanctions, the court found that:

“the showing of bad faith is so clear and convincing that the showing of prejudice can be proportionally less. The spoliation conduct was extensive, including within its scope the destruction of innumerable documents relating to all aspects of Rambus' buisness; when considered in light of Rambus' litigation conduct, the very integrity of the litigation process has been impugned. Sanctions such as adverse jury instructions and preclusion of evidence are impractical, bordering on meaningless, under these circumstances and in the context of a typical trial. Therefore, the court concludes that the appropriate sanction for the conduct of record is to declare the patents in suit unenforceable against Micron.”
that is, did Rambus intentionally destroy documents at a time when litigation was reasonable foreseeable and, if so, what sanctions should be imposed to curet he prejudice to Micron

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