Seagate and Western Digital sued by patent ambulance-chaser
Rembrandt IP sues over read/write head IP
Specialist patent enforcement firm Rembrandt IP is suing both Seagate and Western Digital for patent infringement.
As reported by Ars Technica, the two are identified in a lawsuit filed in a Wisconsin court and accused of infringing US patent numbers 5,995,342 and 6,195,232 which refer to toroidal thin film heads with low noise characteristics.
These patents were bought from the inventor and holder Uri Cohen for an undisclosed sum by Rembrandt IP.
Seagate and WD are being requested to pay royalties for their use of the intellectual property (IP) in the patents. Rembrandt stands to gain millions of dollars if its suit prevails over any objections that Seagate and WD might bring forward. That's because the IP is used, allegedly, in millions of hard disk drives.
Rembrandt's suit mentions Seagate's Black Armour, Free Agent, Barracuda, Momentus, Savvio and other drives, while products from WD include the My Book and My Passport lines, Caviar and Scorpio.
We could be looking at tens of millions of dollars. But then, if WD and Seagate fall into Rembrandt's clutches, Hitachi GST, Samsung and Toshiba are wide open to similar claims and will cough up as well.
The two targeted disk companies haven't responded yet. ®
Why the big delay?
Some of the disks mentioned are obsolete already. Anyone filing a patent claim so late should just have it unceremoniously chucked out. Even if it is a valid claim, the drive manufacturers just might have gone with a different technology rather than pay for the rights to use it, hence it is totally unfair to wait until they have used it millions of times over then come crawling out of the woodwork looking for a handout.
unceremoniously chucked out ?
Certainly not. Said patent should be simply revoked, and the complainants flogged publicly for having waited years and millions of products sold before waking up to the fact that they had a patent.
This is such an obvious case of trolling that I think a charge of contempt of court should be envisioned.
I thought the patent system was only there to protect software and business methods.