Netlist (NLST) Says It Prevails in Final PTAB Reviews Against Smart Modular

March 10, 2016 8:45 AM EST

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Netlist, Inc. (NASDAQ: NLST) today announced it has prevailed against Smart Modular Technologies in the final Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) of two Netlist patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,001,434 and 8,359,501 related to self-test.

Netlist's patented self-test technologies are widely used in high-performance memory modules, including LRDIMM, SSDs, and Storage Class Memory. These techniques are used in LRDIMM, for example, to ensure proper timing on the data path. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has now conducted two full reviews of both patents and twice confirmed their validity. The earlier decisions by the PTAB confirming the validity of these claims came in December, 2015 based on reviews initiated by SanDisk.

"The extraordinary success we've experienced before the PTAB and Federal Circuit is a testament to Netlist's long track record of fundamental innovation in the area of high performance memory," said C.K. Hong, Netlist's Chief Executive Officer. "We remain committed to defending our industry leading IP and monetizing our patent portfolio through licensing and enforcement."

The '434 and '501 patents are part of a seven-patent lawsuit Netlist filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California against the ULLtraDIMM product from SanDisk and Diablo Technologies. In response to the lawsuit, SanDisk, Diablo and Smart Modular filed a total of 17 IPRs attempting to invalidate the seven Netlist patents. With these latest results, Netlist has now been successful in defending five of the seven asserted patents. According to the latest USPTO statistics, 72% of IPRs that proceed all the way to a final decision end with the PTAB invalidating all challenged claims, and at least some claims being invalidated in another 14%.

The other patents in the lawsuit cover fundamental aspects of high-performance memory modules, such as the distributed buffer architecture used for DDR4 LRDIMM, and clocking and buffering techniques critical to the design of Non-Volatile DIMMs (NVDIMMs) such as the NVvault®, ULLtraDIMM, and Netlist's next-generation HyperVault® Storage Class Memory technology.

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