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Seagate hands over $45m for FDD patent

Rodime can finally scratch its seven year hitch

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Disk drive giant Seagate has coughed up $45 million (£27 million) to settle a seven-year-long row over patent infringements with one-time drive maker Rodime. Rodime claims it pioneered the development of the 3.5in drive in 1983 and that Seagate had used it without paying royalties. A Californian District Court dismissed the case in 1997 but an Appeal resurrected the claims. Despite issuing denials that it had infringed any patents, Seagate settled out of court yesterday after the Supreme Court rejected a petition to quash the case. Throughout the case Rodime has been running as a shell company with four employees living off intellectual property, patent incomes and a $34 million overdraft. The company said they would invest some of the money in pursuit of its digital servo patents. ®

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