Feeds

WD escapes $630m hit over Seagate 'trade secrets' ... for now anyway

Lot more secrets in a hard drive than you thought

Boost IT visibility and business value

Western Digital is off the hook for a cool $630m in an arbitration case it initially lost over the alleged misuse of Seagate's confidential information, including trade secrets.

Back last year, Seagate complained about the activities of WD and a former Seagate employee who had joined WD, alleging that WD was using Seagate trade secrets and other confidential information in its activities. The dispute went to an arbitration court, which awarded Seagate $525m in damages in November 2011. There are more details here.

But WD denied the validity of the claim and went back to the arbitration court. Now the award is worth $630m and, as reported by various media outlets using Reuters' data, the court has "vacated in full... the award". But three out of the eight allegations of misuse of trade secrets were still in dispute, the court said, so WD might well end up paying quite a bit:

On October 12, 2012, the District Court of Hennepin County, Minnesota (the "Court") vacated, in full, the $630.4 million final arbitration award previously issued against Western Digital Corporation (the "Company") in the arbitration between the Company and Seagate Technology, LLC ("Seagate") that concluded on January 23, 2012.

In the arbitration, Seagate alleged, among other things, misappropriation of eight alleged trade secrets by the Company and a now former employee.

The Court confirmed the arbitration award with respect to each of the five trade secret claims that Western Digital and the former employee had won at the arbitration, and vacated the arbitration award with respect to the three trade secret claims that Western Digital and the former employee had lost.

The Court ordered that a rehearing be held concerning those three alleged trade secrets before a new arbitrator agreed upon by the parties and that if by November 2, 2012 the parties are unable to reach agreement, then the Court will appoint a new arbitrator.

So WD has won a new hearing with a time limit just over two weeks from now. Will it have to pay anything at all regarding the three outstanding claims to Seagate? Will the new arbitrator set an even higher damages amount? Tune in to Radio Reg Storage to find out in a few days' time. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests
Big Blue finds containers are speedy, but may not have much room to improve
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Gartner's Special Report: Should you believe the hype?
Enough hot air to carry a balloon to the Moon
Flash could be CHEAPER than SAS DISK? Come off it, NetApp
Stats analysis reckons we'll hit that point in just three years
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.