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Cornice countersues Western Digital

Chuck out WD's patents, HDD maker asks court

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Mini-hard drive maker Cornice has hit back against rival manufacturer Western Digital's allegations that the company violated WD patents with a lawsuit of its own.

Filed this week with the US District Court for central California, Cornice's countersuit asks the court not only to rule that no such infringement has taken place but to dismiss WD's patents as invalid and unenforceable.

That's pretty much what it's asking of the US District Court of Delaware, where it's countersuing Seagate, which has also accused Cornice of patent infringement.

Seagate and WD claim that Cornice's 1in 1.5GB and 2GB micro hard drives contain technology to which Cornice does not have permission to use. Both maintain that Cornice has violated a number of their patents. Seagate sued Cornice in June as did WD. Seagate has also asked the US Trade Commission to ban imports into the US of products based on Cornice's drives.

Cornice has pitched its products at the MP3 player market and other consumer electronics applications, landing deals with iRiver, Thomson, Digitalway and Rio.

Seagate is also targeting this market with a 5GB unit of its own, though it's not one in which Western Digital operates thus far. ®

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