updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu October 25, 2007
SanDisk Sues 25 Companies
SanDisk late Wednesday announced that it was suing 25 companies regarding seven patents relating to flash storage, accusing them of building portable media jukeboxes, memory cards, and other devices that use SanDisk's "system-level" technology without permission. The lawsuit did not name specific products but included the high-profile Korean electronics giant LG as well as well-known memory makers Corsair, Imation, Kingston, and Verbatim. Sunnyvale, California-based SanDisk said it was seeking both damages and a permanent injunction that would block any offending flash memory from entering the United States.
Other large flash manufacturers, such as Samsung and Toshiba, were not touched by the complaint.
None of the affected companies are known to have issued a public statement, but the lawsuit is likely to significantly damage their competitiveness with SanDisk, which is relatively unique among the companies in its ability to produce both media players like the Sansa View as well as the storage inside the devices. The company noted that it was offering the defendants named in the suit an opportunity to license the patents in question, which would increase the cost of manufacturing their flash memory relative to that of the California firm.