South Korea's SK Hynix, the world's number two memory chipmaker, "welcomed" Sunday a US court's ruling against rival Rambus that may lower compensation it must pay the US firm following a long-running patent dispute.
Since 2000 Rambus has accused SK Hynix -- previously called Hynix Semiconductor -- of infringing upon its technologies involving dynamic random access memory (DRAM) that acts as the main memory in computers.
A Californian court in 2009 ordered SK Hynix to pay $397 million in patent damages as well as on-going royalties on its US sales to the US chip designer Rambus.
But the state's northern district court reversed its existing stance Friday and said Rambus had illegally destroyed evidence that may have helped SK Hynix defend itself, the South Korean company said in a statement.
The court also ordered the two firms to submit by the end of October proposals on "reasonable and non-discriminatory" royalties that SK Hynix should pay to Rambus, it said.
The latest ruling came after the US Court of Appeals in Washington in May 2011 sent back the financial damages judgement to the California court because documents had been spoiled.
"This suggests that the patent compensation SK Hynix should pay will also be considerably lower than the amount set in the previous ruling," SK Hynix said.
"We welcome the latest decision... and will try our best to secure a favourable ruling in the remainder of the suit," it said.