EMC claims patent infringement against Hitachi

Enterprise solutions provider EMC has filed a suit in a US District Court against Hitachi and the company's Hitachi Data Systems...

Enterprise solutions provider EMC has filed a suit in a US District Court against Hitachi and the company's Hitachi Data Systems division, seeking damages for infringement of six patents.

The company has also filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission asking the body to block import of the infringing products into the United States.

The complaints lodged by EMC concern six EMC patents covering the company's SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) business continuity software and its TimeFinder remote storage software, as well as data migration and mainframe storage patents. The patents at issue in the suit are 6,101,497; 6,108,748; 6,092,066; 5,909,692; 5,742,792 and 5,544,347.

The Hitachi products that EMC claims infringe on its patents include HORC (Hitachi Open Remote Copy) and HOARC (Hitachi Open Asynchronous Remote Copy), which EMC says infringe on SRDF, and ShadowImage, which EMC claims infringes on TimeFinder.

A number of the patents involved in the suit are "central, core patents" to both SRDF and Timefinder, said Mark Fredrickson, vice-president of corporate communication at EMC. No one from Hitachi was available for comment.

EMC has been negotiating with Hitachi for four years on the matter, but filed suit on Friday (12 April) in Massachusetts, due to "Hitachi's unwillingness to resolve (the issue)," Fredrickson said.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) will have 30 days to decide whether it will proceed with EMC's case, Fredrickson said. If the body decides against Hitachi, it has the power to "bar the importation of infringing products into the US," he said.

EMC's complaint is the second involving Hitachi before the ITC. Mosel Vitelic, a Taiwanese company, filed an unfair trade practices complaint with the ITC on 10 April concerning flash memory and DRAM (dynamic RAM) sales in the US by Hitachi and Elpida Memory. Hitachi was also sued for patent infringement by Storage Computer in March 2001.

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