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vaulted higher Thursday after a federal judge cleared the way for most of its patent-infringement claims against

Hynix Semiconductor

to move forward.

Rambus, a technology licensing shop that took a hit earlier this week when it reported soft earnings, has been in litigation with Hynix since 2000, claiming that elements of 15 patents it owns are infringed by the company's products. The latest ruling involves six motions for summary judgment filed by Hynix in a bid to get the claims tossed before moving to trial.

According to Rambus, only one of the motions was granted; the rest were rejected. In fact, the judge entered summary judgment of infringement in Rambus' favor on most of the claims, while ruling others were an issue of fact to be decided at trial.

"The first phase of the trial is scheduled to begin on March 21, 2005. It will focus on remaining patent infringement and validity issues, and on Hynix's spoliation claim," Rambus said. "The second phase of the case is scheduled to be tried in June and it will focus on various non-patent defenses and counterclaims asserted by Hynix."

Rambus' stock soared $3.46, or 19.4%, to $21.31 early Thursday.