FAQ

1. What is DRAM?

Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a form of computer memory that is contained in computers and many other electronic devices.

For the purposes of this class-action, DRAM devices and components include all types of EDO DRAM, fast-page mode (“FPM DRAM”), reduced latency DRAM (“RLDRAM”), synchronous dynamic random access memory (“SDRAM”), synchronous graphics dynamic random access memory (“SGRAM”), Rambus dynamic random access memory (“RDRAM”), asynchronous dynamic random access memory (“ASYNC”), and double data rate dynamic random access memory (“DDR”) including modules containing DRAM, EDO DRAM, FPM DRAM, RLDRAM, RDRAM, SDRAM, SGRAM, ASYNC and/or DDR.

2. What “electronic devices” contain DRAM?

Most electronic devices contain DRAM. Some examples are:

  • desktop computers
  • laptop computers
  • printers
  • DVD players
  • personal digital assistants
  • graphics cards
  • personal video recorders (PVR’s)
  • digital video recorders
  • video game consoles
  • MP3 players
  • memory modules
  • servers
  • computer based point of sale systems

3. What is this lawsuit about?

The Plaintiffs sued some DRAM manufacturers alleging they agreed to fix the price at which they sold DRAM and that, as a result, people who bought DRAM or electronic devices that contain DRAM paid more than they would otherwise have paid. Some of the DRAM manufacturers pleaded guilty in the United States and/or Europe to DRAM price-fixing charges.

4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

In a class action, “representative plaintiffs” or “class representatives” sue on behalf of all “class members” or the “class”, who overpaid for DRAM. This group is the “class” and is composed of “class members”. In this class action, it was alleged that all class members overpaid for DRAM.

Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd. represents all class members in BC. Option consommateurs represents all class members in Québec. Mr. Eidoo and Cygnus Electronics Corporation represent all class members who live elsewhere in Canada or who live in the U.S. but bought DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM in Canada.

A class action allows the courts to resolve the issues for all class members affected, except for those who choose to exclude themselves (opt out) from the class.

5. How do I know if I am included in the class?

You are automatically a class member if you:

  • you live in Canada now or you lived in Canada between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002; and
  • you bought DRAM or an electronic device containing DRAM for personal, commercial, or manufacturing use anywhere in the world between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002;

OR

  • you live in the U.S. now or you lived in the U.S. between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002; and
  • you bought DRAM or an electronic device containing DRAM for personal, commercial, or manufacturing use in Canada between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002.

If you meet these criteria, you are a class member, whether you are a physical person, a business or a government entity. The reason why you bought DRAM or an electronic device containing DRAM does not matter: you are a class member whether you bought it for your personal use, to manufacture or transform electronic devices or for commercial resale.

6. Are there exceptions to class membership?

You are not a class member if you:

  • a. are related to one of the Defendants;
  • b. opted out of these lawsuits before June 2, 2012 (only two class members opted out); or
  • c. settled your claims in the parallel U.S. DRAM class actions.

7. What settlements have been achieved in this class action lawsuit?

The final settlements total over $79 million with eleven groups of Defendants. This amount has been earning interest and is now over $80 million.

Defendant Group: Settlement Amount
Elpida $5,750,000.00
Nanya $325,000.00
Micron $17,500,000.00
NEC $2,750,000.00
Hitachi $2,750,000.00
Samsung $22,600,000.00
Hynix $15,600,000.00
Infineon $9,000,000.00
Toshiba $1,495,000.00
Mitsubishi $1,250,000.00
Winbond $450,000.00
TOTAL $79,470,000.00

Class counsel fees and expenses, fees and expenses for administration costs and for notice are approved by the courts and deducted from the settlement funds. The remaining settlement funds will pay claims from qualified people who submit valid claim forms.

8. How do I receive a share of the settlement funds?

To receive money from the settlements, you must complete the claim form on or before June 23, 2015. If your claim is late, you will not receive any money from the settlements.

We strongly encourage class members to use the online claim form. Class members are entitled to file paper claims. Download a PDF simplified claim form here or a PDF standard claim form here or contact us if you have questions.

9. What are the different types of DRAM Claims?

The Distribution Protocol divides the net settlement funds into three Claim Funds:

End Consumer Claims: 50% of net settlement funds

This category is for end users of electronic devices containing DRAM or DRAM itself. End Consumers include individuals, households, businesses ranging from the smallest to the largest in Canada, and governmental entities.

Make an End Consumer Claim for DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM that you bought between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002 for your own household/business use and not for commercial resale.

EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) Claims: 30% of net settlement funds

This category is for EMS firms and contract manufacturers who bought DRAM between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002 to manufacture or assemble electronics products such as circuit boards, electronic assemblies, subassemblies, systems and subsystems pursuant to contracts with original equipment manufacturers and/or computer parts manufacturers for commercial resale.

EMS Claims do not include DRAM bought to construct or assemble DRAM modules for commercial resale to End Consumers. Such claims must be made in the Other DRAM Purchaser Claims category.

Other DRAM Purchaser Claims: 20% of net settlement funds

The Other DRAM Purchaser Claims category is for DRAM and electronic devices containing DRAM bought between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002 which do not fall into the End Consumer or EMS Claims categories. Make an Other DRAM Purchasers Claim in respect of DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM you bought between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002 for:

  • manufacturing purposes other than those listed in the EMS Claim;
  • commercial resale; or
  • purposes other than personal household or business use.

Other DRAM Purchasers Claims will fall into one or more of the following subcategories:

(a) an Other DRAM Purchaser Claim for DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM you purchased to manufacture or assemble computers and computer products for commercial resale in that modified form to government or education entities is classified as a high absorption claim;

(b) an Other DRAM Purchaser Claim for DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM you purchased to manufacture or assemble computers and computer products for commercial resale in that modified form to non-governmental or education entities is classified as a medium absorption claim;

(c) an Other DRAM Purchaser Claim for DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM you purchased for:

(i)  commercial resale without you having modified the DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM you bought; and/or
(ii) manufacture or assembly of products other than computers for commercial resale in that modified form;

is classified as low absorption claims.

(d) an Other DRAM Purchaser Claim for DRAM you bought to manufacture into a product and resell commercially in that modified form but which you were unable to resell is classified as a stranded DRAM inventory claim.

If you are unsure about the type of DRAM Claim to file for the DRAM purchases you made, please contact the Claims Administrator 1-(866)-855-5586.

10. I/we bought electronic devices to use in my home/business/institution. How much money will I/we get?

If you are an individual, household, governmental institution or business making an End Consumer Claim (you bought DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM for your own personal household, institutional or business use and not for resale), you will receive a minimum of $20.

Each valid End Consumer Claim may be prorated based upon the total value of claims submitted.

Whether you are entitled to claim more money depends on the amount of DRAM in the electronic devices you purchased. “Computer Equivalent Units” or CEUs have been assigned to various electronic devices which contain DRAM, so that you can easily calculate the total value of your claim by identifying what devices you purchased. Click here to calculate the number of CEUs you purchased and how much money you can claim. Family members residing with you in the same household must pool together their purchases and submit a single End Consumer claim.

11. My business bought DRAM for manufacturing and/or resale. How much money will we get?

If you are an individual, household, governmental institution or business and bought DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM for manufacturing purposes, resale or purposes, other than for your own personal household, institutional or business use, the amount of money you may receive depends on two things:

  • 1. The amount of raw DRAM you purchased or the amount of DRAM in the electronic devices you purchased. “Computer Equivalent Units” or CEUs have been assigned to various electronic devices which contain DRAM, so that the amount of DRAM you purchased can be calculated.
  • 2. Where you fall on the chain of distribution. Depending on where you fall in the distribution chain, you may have absorbed more of the DRAM overcharge than others.

To calculate the value of your claim, you will need to do the following calculation:

  • 1. Determine what DRAM and electronic devices containing DRAM you purchased and how many of each;
  • 2. Multiply the number of each type of electronic device that you purchased by the CEU Ratio for that device (see below for CEU Ratios);
  • 3. Multiply the result of step 2 by the CEU Value for your position in the distribution chain (see below for CEU Values); and
  • 4. Add together the results from step 3 for each type of electronic device containing DRAM that you purchased.

Note: if the total dollar value of all the claims in a category (End Consumer, EMS or Other DRAM Purchaser) is greater than the total amount of funds to distribute for that category, all claims in that category will be pro rated down.

CEU Ratios

Product CEU Ratio
Computers – Laptops or Desktops 1.00
Printers 0.05
Memory Modules 0.74
Video Game Consoles 0.10
DVD Players 0.05
MP3 Players 0.10
Servers 1.00 CEU per $3,400 CDN spent

More CEU ratios are set out in the "Distribution Protocol" document.

Note: There is an alternative calculation method for those who purchased raw DRAM or DRAM modules in large quantities: set out in the "Distribution Protocol" document.

CEU Values
Depending on where they fall in the distribution chain, some purchasers have absorbed more of the DRAM overcharge than others did. To address this, the plan to pay settlement funds assigns different monetary values to each CEU for class members at different levels of the distribution chain. The identified positions are as follows:

Distribution Chain CEU Value
Electronics Manufacturing Services (“EMS”) firms and contract manufacturers for manufacture or assembly of certain electronic devices pursuant to contracts with OEMs or other computer parts manufacturers $1.25
Manufacturers of computers or computer products for commercial resale to government or education entities $1.25
Manufacturers of computers or computer products for commercial resale to non-government/education entities $0.63
Resellers of DRAM and electronic devices containing DRAM products without modification of the DRAM or electronic device $0.42
Manufacturers of electronic devices containing DRAM other than computers or computer products for commercial resale $0.42
Purchasers of raw DRAM or DRAM modules with stranded DRAM inventory $2.50

Sample Calculations

Example #1: A company that is a reseller bought 10,000 computers and 5,000 printers for resale without modification.

Computers for resale: CEU ratio of 1.00 x 10,000 x CEU value of $0.42 = $4,200
Printers for resale: CEU ratio of 0.05 x 5,000 x CEU value of $0.42 = $105
TOTAL = $4,305

This company’s Other DRAM Purchaser claim will be for $4,305. This company may also have an End Consumer claim for electronic devices containing DRAM that it purchased for its own business use. Click here to calculate the value of the End Consumer claim.

Example #2: A company that assembles computer products bought 10,000 memory modules to install into computers for resale to a retailer. However, 1,000 memory modules were stranded in inventory and not assembled or sold.

Memory modules for assembly: CEU ratio of 0.74 x 9,000 x CEU value of $0.63 = $5,670
Memory modules in stranded inventory: CEU ratio of 0.74 x 1,000 x CEU value of $2.50 = $1,850
TOTAL = $7,520

This company’s Other DRAM Purchasers Claim will be for $7,520. This company may also have an End Consumer claim for electronic devices containing DRAM that it purchased for its own business use. Click here to calculate the value of the End Consumer claim.

More information on how claims will be calculated is available in the "Distribution Protocol".

12. Will I automatically receive money if I purchased DRAM or electronic devices containing DRAM?

No. You must submit a claim before the deadline (June 23, 2015).

13. When do I need to file a claim?

Claims must be submitted by no later than June 23, 2015.

14. What will it cost to file a claim?

Filing a claim will cost you nothing.

Legal fees and other expenses have been approved by the courts and paid out of the settlement funds. Legal fees are based on a percentage of the settlement funds, and a percentage of the interest that accrues on the settlement funds up to the date that the lawyers’ fees are paid, as determined by the courts supervising the class actions. At the fee hearings in September 2014, some of the interest that had accrued was overlooked. The accrued interest was subsequently and independently reviewed. In hearings before the three supervising courts in March and April 2015, the lawyers asked to be paid their share of fees on this overlooked interest. The three courts approved that request. For more information on how the overlooked interest was calculated, or to review the calculations, please contact us at dram@cfmlawyers.ca.

15. What information do I need? Do I need receipts?

There are different requirements depending on your circumstances:

End Consumers claiming $20 (Individuals, Households, Small Businesses)
If you are an End Consumer claiming $20, we just need your name, contact information, and a declaration that you bought DRAM or an electronic device containing DRAM between April 1, 1999 and June 30, 2002. You do not need to provide receipts. Simply fill out the claim form and submit it.

End Consumers claiming more than $20
Most End Consumers who claim for 2 CEUs or less per person (household member or employee) (see Question 10 and this calculator for information on how to determine the number of CEUs), will just have to give their name, contact information, the number of household members or employees, the number of CEUs, and a declaration that the information is true. Very large claims might need documentation. You can use this calculator to determine the number of CEUs and the value of your claim.

Everyone Else
For everyone else, you do not need receipts but we do need some documentation to prove your purchases. We recognize that, due to the time lag since you made these purchases, you may no longer have receipts. We will accept, as proof of purchase, any documents which either directly show your purchases or from which your purchases can be calculated or extrapolated. Some examples are purchase orders, historical accounting records, records showing the budgets for electronic purchases, and many other related documents. Please contact us to discuss or provide what you have and we will work with you to determine your purchases.

16. What if I do not have receipts?

If you are an End Consumer claiming $20, you do not need receipts or any proof of purchase, just a declaration that your claims information is true. File your claim here.

If you are an End Consumer with 2 or less CEUs per person (household member or employee), you still do not need any receipts. You just need to tell us how many household members or employees you have and how many CEUs you have (calculate that here), and declare that your claims information is true

For everyone else, we recognize that, due to the time lag since you made these purchases, you may no longer have receipts. We will accept, as proof of purchase, any documents which either directly show your purchases or from which your purchases can be calculated or extrapolated. Some examples are purchase orders, historical accounting records, records showing the budgets for electronic purchases, and many other related documents. Please contact us to discuss or provide what you have and we will work with you to determine your purchases.

17. How do I know my claim was submitted?

Immediately following submission of your claim, a page will display "Your submission was successful. Your Claim ID is: xx"

You will also be sent confirmation of your claim by email to the email address you have provided in your claim.

If you do not get this message, please confirm that you have filled in all the required information. There will be red text on the form anywhere that information is missing. If you are still unsure whether your claim was submitted, call us at 1-(866)-855-5586 or email us at DRAM@nptricepoint.com.

18. What happens after I file a claim?

The courts have appointed an independant third party, NPT RicePoint Class Action Services (the “Claims Administrator”) to receive and review claims, determine entitlement, and issue payments to eligible class members.

Once all claims are received and processed, the Claims Administrator will send out decision notices to all class members who file claims using the contact information provided in the claim form. If you move or change addresses after submitting a claim, you must send us your new address. Address changes must reference your Claim ID and be emailed or mailed to the Claims Administrator (see contact us).

Accurate claims processing takes time. Your patience is appreciated.

19. When will I get paid?

There are a number of steps to complete before we can pay claims.

After we receive all the claims, we must review them and send out decision notices. Class members have the right to appeal their entitlement and if any class members exercise their right to appeal, that appeal process must be completed. We will then seek court approval to authorize all payments. Once the Courts authorize the payments, we can send out cheques to all eligible class members.

Accurate claims processing takes time and your patience is appreciated. We are hoping to mail out cheques in the winter of 2015.

20. Who has access to my information?

Your information is protected by privacy laws and stored using a secure site. Only the court approved Claims Administrator (NPT RicePoint) and the lawyers representing the class (see Question 22 below) have access to your information. We can only use it for the purpose of this class action or as you otherwise agree. For instance, if you mark “I want to receive emails about other similar class actions in Canada about computer components” on the claim form, we will keep your information to use in other, similar class actions where you may have a claim.

The defendants do not have access to the list of class members who have made a claim nor to any of your information.

More information about the Claims Administrator is available by clicking here.

21. What if I still have questions?
We would be pleased to answer them and help you. Please call us at 1-(866)-855-5586 or e-mail us at DRAM@nptricepoint.com.
22. Who are the lawyers representing the class members (Class Counsel)?

The law firm of Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman represents the class members living in BC. The law firm of Belleau Lapointe represents most class members living in Québec. The law firms of Sutts, Strosberg LLP and Harrison Pensa LLP jointly represent all other class members.

Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman
400-856 Homer Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2W5
604-689-7555 or 1-800-689-2322
dram@cfmlawyers.ca
Attn: J.J. Camp, Q.C.
www.cfmlawyers.ca/dram
Belleau Lapointe
#306, Place d’Youville, Suite B-10
Montreal, Québec, H2Y 2B6
514-987-6700 or 1-888-987-6701
info@belleaulapointe.com
Attn: Maxime Nasr
www.recourscollectif.info/en/cases/dram/
Sutts, Strosberg LLP
600 – 251 Goyeau Street
Windsor, Ontario N9A 6V4
1-800-229-5323 extn 8296
dramclassaction@strosbergco.com
Attn: Heather Rumble Peterson
www.dramclassaction.com
Harrison Pensa LLP
450 Talbot Street
London, Ontario N6A 5J6
1-800-263-0489
jforeman@harrisonpensa.com
Attn: Jonathan Foreman
www.harrisonpensa.com/d-ram
23. What are the other computer component class actions?

There are other similar class actions ongoing in Canada relating to price fixing of other computer components involving one or more of the Class Counsel law firms. You may be also be a class member in these other lawsuits involving:

  • LCD: 10” or larger liquid crystal displays, between 1998 and 2002;
  • SRAM: static random access memory, between 1998 and 2005;
  • Optical disc drives, between 2005 and the present; and
  • Lithium ion rechargeable batteries, between 2002 and 2012.

Whether you are eligible to claim in the listed class actions will depend on the outcome of those lawsuits and the terms of any court orders or settlements in those lawsuits.

More information about these lawsuits, and the lawyers who are class counsel in them, is available at www.cfmlawyers.ca/class-actions.

24. What information will we keep for the other computer component class actions?

We would like to keep your name and contact information to send you information about these other lawsuits so that if you are eligible, you can make a claim. We will keep your information secure.

25. What am I agreeing to?

If you check the box saying that you want to receive emails about other computer component class actions, you will be agreeing to the following terms:

  • The Claims Administrator (NPTRicePoint) keeping your name and contact information and providing it to the lawyers who act as class counsel in the lawsuits listed above solely to provide you with notice of these class actions.
  • If another company is appointed as administrator in the listed class actions, your information will be provided to that company to be used solely to provide you with notice of that class action.
  • Unless you write to the Claims Administrator at the address below to withdraw your agreement, your name and contact information will be kept until the last of the listed lawsuits is completed, at which time it will be destroyed by any law firm or claims administration firm that has it.
  • For your information to be used in the listed class actions, the courts in those class actions must approve that use.
  • Whether you are eligible to claim in the listed class actions will depend on the outcome of those lawsuits and the terms of any court orders or settlements in those lawsuits.

You may write to the following at any time to withdraw your agreement:
Canadian DRAM Class Action Claims Administrator,
P.O. Box 3355, London, ON N6A 4K3