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EMC and Hitachi settle patent fight

Storage rivals EMC and Hitachi have agreed to settle a year-old patent-infringement legal fight dealing with data replication and...

Storage rivals EMC and Hitachi have agreed to settle a year-old patent-infringement legal fight dealing with data replication and migration.

Under the deal, Hitachi will make payments to EMC, and both companies agreed to a five-year cross-licensing of the patents involved in the litigation so either company can use the technology.

Hitachi said it would make "balancing payments to EMC", but the remaining terms of the cross-licence agreement were confidential.

EMC filed the original lawsuit last April, alleging that Tokyo-based Hitachi was using technology related to EMC's Symmetrix Remote Data Facility, TimeFinder remote storage and data migration applications, mainframe storage patents and business-continuity software.

EMC also cited Hitachi Data Systems's Open Remote Copy and Open Asynchronous Remote Copy and ShadowImage as the offending technologies.

A week after the suit was filed, Hitachi fired back with its own lawsuit, seeking damages against EMC for what it called infringement on eight of its patents.

In May, EMC filed a second suit involving the same patents with the US International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming that Hitachi and its EMC's subsidiary, HDS, were infringing on six of its patents.

The two companies have also agreed to a framework for exchanging application programming interfaces (API) in order to manage each other's storage products more easily.

Joe Tucci, EMC president and chief executive officer, said he was pleased to resolve the issue "in a way that upholds our principles and encourages future innovation".

Isao Ono, director, president and chief executive officer of information and telecommunications systems at Hitachi, said the agreements show "how concern for customers' needs and a desire to explore business relationships that provide benefits for each company are the principal factors in each company's decision-making".

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