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EMC, Hitachi trade patent infringement suits

Posted: 23 Apr 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:EMC? Hitachi? storage system? software? mainframe data storage?

In a bitter exchange of barbs and lawsuits, EMC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. have each accused the other of infringing patents for storage systems.

EMC charged that Hitachi has "a history of copying technology invented by others" while the Japanese electronics giant pledged to hold EMC "fully accountable for infringing Hitachi patents."

After years of talks aimed at settling the patent claims, EMC struck first. In complaints filed earlier this month with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Worcester, Mass., it charged that Hitachi had infringed six patents, including four that underpin the company's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility and TimeFinder software products. It also accused Hitachi of infringing two other patents relating to data migration and mainframe data storage.

Firing back

Hitachi, based here, answered this week, charging in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma that EMC products in both its Symmetrix and Clariion product lines infringe eight Hitachi patents. It asked the court to bar future sales of the EMC products.

"Since EMC has chosen to compete in the courtroom rather than in the marketplace, Hitachi has no choice but to fight back with its own extensive patent portfolio in this field," said Isao Ono, senior corporate officer and senior group executive in Hitachi's Information Business Group.

EMC had asked the International Trade Commission to block the importation to the United States of what it called Hitachi's infringing software, including HORC, HOARC and ShadowImage. Paul Dacier, EMC's senior vice president and general counsel, said that while the Hitachi products "do not approach the levels of performance and functionality" of EMC's SRDF and TimeFinder, "they clearly infringe on our core patents."

Both sides had carried on talks since 1998 aimed at settling their patent disputes but no accord was ever achieved.

? Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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