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Hitachi lobs lawsuit at Chinese disk drive maker

Big dispute over little disks

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Hitachi's disk drive business has sued a young Chinese disk drive maker, charging the Chinese rival with patent infringement.

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST) - the joint venture of Hitachi and IBM - announced the lawsuit on Tuesday, saying it had been filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. GS Magicstor Inc. - the Chinese disk drive maker - its parent company GS Magic and research affiliate Riospring were all named in the lawsuit.

Hitachi claims the companies violated several of its patents. It is seeking monetary damages and a permanent injunction barring GS Magic and its affiliates from making, importing or selling products in the US.

“Hitachi GST’s ability to compete in the hard disk drive industry is based on a history of deep investment in research and development, particularly in the advancement of innovative small-form-factor hard drives,” said Robert Holleran, general manager of Hitachi GST’s Hard Disk Drive Group. “We have a responsibility to protect our investment and the intellectual property of our company against those who are competing unfairly in our industry.”

GS Magicstor has not issued a comment to the press about the lawsuit at this time.

The Chinese company states on its website that it was incorporated in 2002 as the "first small form factor manufacturer with its own intellectual property rights." It makes small disk drives for PDAs, cameras and cell phones.

It's good to see the legal staff at Hitachi GST stay busy during the holidays. The company ordered most of its workers to take vacations from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31. ®

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