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Toshiba gains new trial in Lexar suit

Posted: 06 Dec 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Toshiba? Lexar Media?

Toshiba Corp. on Friday (Dec. 2) said that it has been granted a new trial in Lexar Media Inc.'s suit over alleged claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty against the Japanese company.

As a result, the jury award in the original trial totaling $465 million against Toshiba has been vacated, according to the Japanese company. The court has denied Toshiba's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict.

There was insufficient evidence to support the damages awarded by the jury, according to Lexar.

In October, a court affirmed a previous jury verdict that awarded Lexar over $465 million in damages in its suit against Toshiba. The case, heard in the Superior Court for the State of California, alleged that Toshiba invested $3 million in flash-card maker Lexar (Fremont, Calif.) and asked for and received a seat on Lexar's board in 1997. At the time, Toshiba received extensive confidential information, including Lexar's highly confidential patent applications, according to Lexar.

Lexar indicated that by 1997, Toshiba had allegedly "tried but failed to develop a reliable flash memory controller," according to the company. And unbeknownst to Lexar, Toshiba also had "top secret" internal plans to partner with rival flash-memory product maker SanDisk Corp.

Lexar, a manufacturer of digital media products, in March claimed a legal victory over Toshiba. It also said that a jury awarded the company over $380 million in damages as part of the legal victory against Japan's Toshiba. A day after finding Toshiba liable for $380 million in a flash-memory patent suit, a jury awarded Lexar an additional $84 million in punitive damages in the case.

Toshiba has filed numerous motions challenging the verdict.

EE Times

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