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Toshiba wins review of Lexar trial damages

May not have to pay out $465m after all

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Toshiba has won the right to a new trial to appraise the "erroneous" $465m damages awarded to Lexar after the Japanese giant lost a NAND Flash trade secret misappropriation dispute.

The Superior Court of California, which last week granted Toshiba the fresh trial, also set aside the original damages ruling, announced by a jury in March 2005, Toshiba said this past Friday.

The ruling followed Lexar's successful claim that Toshiba had nabbed its intellectual property. Toshiba claims to have invented NAND Flash. Lexar maintains that Toshiba used its know-how to get its own NAND Flash chips to work reliably. Lexar alleged Toshiba gained access to the technology after taking a place on Lexar's board - one result of a 1997 $3m investment in the small US company.

Since the March verdict, Toshiba has vigorously protested its innocence, calling the ruling "injust" and, this week, "erroneous". It has always said it would fight the ruling.

The Court denied Toshiba's request for a judgement notwithstanding the verdict. Toshiba said it will appeal against that denial.

Lexar has yet to comment on last week's ruling.®

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