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Seagate marks first target in flash memory lawsuits

updated 01:00 pm EDT, Tue April 15, 2008

Seagate vs. STEC

Seagate has begun the first of what may be several lawsuits against makers of flash memory, show filings from the US District Court in San Francisco. It has accused STEC, formerly known as Simple Technology, of violating four patents it owns, connected to the creation of flash memory -- should it win, Seagate could be granted an injunction against STEC products as well as unspecified damages. Seagate CEO Bill Watkins argues that compensation would be well-due, as it has invested heavily in developing technology for SSD drives, and it has tried to persuade other companies to license its patents.

"They have blatantly decided they don't have to," says Watkins. "Now is the time to start enforcing our patents."

This view is contested by a STEC vice president, Patrick Wilkison, who notes that Seagate did not approach him or anyone else at his company in advance of filing the lawsuit. Representatives in fact claim that STEC was one of the first companies to ship SSD drives, in 1994, before Seagate acquired any of its patents.

Although Seagate is planning to enter the SSD market, it continues to be focused on standard platter-based hard drives. Watkins has openly admitted that Seagate feels threatened by the increasing use of SSD drives, and may file lawsuits against a host of other companies if they refuse to share SSD-related revenues. Intel and Samsung may be future targets, although so far accusations of patent infringement have been limited to public statements.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    holding technology back

    it's really a sad statement on the state of corporate America that Seagate's business model depends upon holding back state-of-the-art technology in order to continue selling us buggy whips.

    Meanwhile the rest of the world is racing ahead of the US, whether it's SSD, stem-cell research or cellular phone technology.

    The US has got to get rid of this mentality that the rest of the world doesn't exist, or else we will become an economic has-been within our lifetimes.

  1. jameshays

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003


    re: climacs

    Funny you should say that we need to get rid of this mentality that the rest of the world doesn't exist. Based on some of your other comments, I would have thought you don't believe the rest of the world exists or that they don't matter.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001



    I have no idea what you are talking about; your take on my views couldn't be more incorrect. I have a far greater awareness of the outside world than the typical American and that comes through in all of my writing.

    Are you talking about someone else?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: g5 laptop

    Get over it, the G5 laptop will never see the light of day!

    However, this is proof that the G5 iPhone is just around the corner!!!!!

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