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Imation has secured the right to make and sell its Black Watch cartridges, while Quantum has won the right to make Imation pay royalties, following a tussle in the courts.

Both companies claim victory.

Imation's official line reads: "The Court sided with Imation that we are entitled to be in the digital linear tape market by denying Quantum's bid to exclude us. Customers and the marketplace won a victory today, along with Imation ... In addition, the Court's requirement that Imation pay the 30 per cent royalty during the interim is recognition of Quantum's dependence on their unusually high royalty structure."

Quantum begs to differ: "The Court has issued a Notice of Ruling stating that it will grant a preliminary injunction requiring Imation to pay Quantum royalties for the use of Quantum's trade secrets ... This preliminary injunction vindicates Quantum's position."

On October 26, the California Superior Court denied Quantum's bid to block Imation from manufacturing and selling Black Watch cartridges.

At the start of the month Imation (a large maker of storage media) had slapped a lawsuit against Quantum (a large maker of storage devices) for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

In turn, Quantum filed a court order to stop Imation from selling its unqualified tape media for use in DLTtape drives. The suit charged Imation with "extreme and pervasive" misappropriation of trade secrets, deceptive and misleading advertising, and unfair business practises.

Imation had announced its alternative tape media - Black Watch - for use on DLTtape drives, but without the necessary Quantum certification. Its press release at the time made much mention of how the product is "Imation-Certified" and how it offers a "reliable alternative to Quantum-qualified DLTtape brands."

Imation says it will continue pursuing its federal anti-trust suit against Quantum. ®

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Quantum's version of the truth
Imation's version of the truth

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