Western Digital has joined Seagate Technology in suing microdrive disk manufacturer Cornice for patent infringement.
The suit mentions seven Western Digital patents that it claims have been infringed by Cornice's one-inch microdrive, the Storage Element or SE. Both Western Digital and Seagate want Cornice manufacturing to cease and damage payments made.
Western Digital cheif executive officer Matt Messengill said: "We will not allow Cornice to unfairly exploit our patents".
There certainly is a lot of spin in the disk drive business, and a lot of hard ball too. In response, Mr. Kow, the country manager for China, Hong Kong and South Asia at Cornice, said: "I'm not in a position to comment. Our legal people are looking into it."
Seagate and Western Digital have joined forces against upstart Cornice, and are individually using IP law to do what some may argue is stifle rather than increase competition.
A company with a perfectly good product is going to have a hard time faced with two with deeper pockets and a legal bone to pick.
While competition would normally see companies licence a superior technology, or develop their own, the patent laws are increasingly being used to prevent others from expanding. They are also being used to make big sums from larger companies by putting claim to a common piece of technology.
Chris Mellor writes for Techworld