Feeds

Overland Storage looses off fusillade of patent suits into tape crowds

Cartridge cases everywhere - it's spray-and-pray day

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

On-the-ropes tape, disk protection and NAS vendor Overland Storage is suing seven tape product vendors for patent busting, including SpectraLogic.

Overland Storage used to sell tape autoloaders and libraries to OEMs like HP a long time ago. But it lost that business, with autoloader-maker BDT capturing some of its clients. Overland has sued BDT for patent infringement and trade violation, also suing Dell and IBM – which have settled. But the case against BDT is ongoing, with Overland having lost its trade violation case against BDT in an initial determination by the US International Trade Commission.

However – crucially – the validity of two of its patents were upheld. Thus bolstered, Overland's lawyers, DLA Piper LP, have opened patent infringement cases against Quantum, Venture Corp, Spectra Logic, PivotStor, Qualstar and Tandberg Data GmBH and Tandberg Data Corp, saying they have infringed one or other or both of two patents. One – US number 6,328,766 – deals with partitioning a tape library, and the other, 6,353,581, covers the non-disruptive import and export of tape cartridges to a library.

CEO Eric Kelly said: "We are pleased that our patents have been validated by the ITC and believe these technologies have been instrumental in the demand for tape storage solutions."

The seven targeted vendors collectively have 40 per cent of a tape storage market estimated by IDC to be worth $12bn between 2005 and 2001. Overland wants royalty payments and the prevention of the defendants using its patented technologies in the USA.

Mmmm: 40 per cent of $12bn is $4.8bn, and a two per cent royalty creamed off that would be $96m. A five per cent royalty would be $240m.

This latest suit looks like a prepared strategy. Whether DLA Piper can make this stick is a good question. It has an extremely good reputation in patent litigation matters and there could be a rush to settle once each targeted company's legal department examines the claims and counts the cost of fighting Overland's case. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.