The $306.9 million awarded to Rambus in a patent lawsuit is too high, a US judge has decided, so the memory maker can choose between a lower $133.5 million award, or go to trial again.

In his order, Judge Ronald Whyte agreed with appellee Hynix that the damages awarded in the patent infringement lawsuit by a jury were excessive.

The calculation of damages was not properly adjusted to take into account various factors, Whyte ruled, and should not be allowed to exceed licensing agreement royalty rates.

Hynix filed a motion for a new trial in the case after a jury found the company guilty of violating Rambus computer memory patents.

In the damages phase of the trial, Rambus expert David J. Teece, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, testified regarding appropriate royalty rates and said that the rates he proposed were conservative.

He further testified regarding royalty rates for "revolutionary technologies."

However, as Judge Whyte found, that evidence was not introduced during the phase of the trial that offered guidelines or a basis for adjusting for the nature of Rambus' inventions, and that it was speculation that the patents involved in the lawsuit represent "revolutionary technology."

The jury could have reasonably concluded based on testimony, that royalty rates could have been adjusted upwards, Whyte said. He then ruled that the case supports an award of about $133.5 million.

If Rambus accepts that reduced jury award it can avoid the new trial asked for by Hynix. It has until 14 August to decide.