Hitachi and EMC resolve patent spat

EMC Corporation and Hitachi today announced the settlement of all pending patent infringement litigation between EMC and Hitachi and its subsidiaries, Hitachi Data Systems and Hitachi Computer Products.

EMC Corporation and Hitachi today announced the settlement of all pending patent infringement litigation between EMC and Hitachi, Ltd. and its subsidiaries, Hitachi Data Systems Corporation (HDS) and Hitachi Computer Products (America).

EMC originally filed patent infringement complaints against Hitachi, Ltd., and Hitachi Data Systems on April 11, 2002, with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) and US District Court in Massachusetts. The ITC proceeding was scheduled to go to an evidentiary hearing on March 10, 2003.

According to the original suit, EMS alleged that HDS and Hitachi engaged in unlawful activities in importing into the US products that infringed six EMC patents.

Those patents included four that are the foundation of EMC’s SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) and TimeFinder software products. Two other EMC patents, relating to data migration and the storage of mainframe data, were also included in the suits.

Also pending were patent infringement claims against EMC filed by Hitachi, Ltd, and Hitachi Computer Products (America) Inc. in US District Court in Massachusetts on April 17, 2002. The complaint alleged that certain EMC data storage systems, including products in both EMC’s Symmetrix and CLARiiON product lines, infringed eight patents owned by Hitachi and Hitachi Computer Products (America). The suit also sought an injunction against the future sale of these EMC products.

In reaching a settlement, EMC and Hitachi have agreed to a framework for exchanging technology in the form of storage related application programming interfaces (APIs). This technology exchange, which is expected to be finalised in the coming weeks, will facilitate each company’s development of storage management applications capable of enabling customers to manage the other company’s storage systems.

Hitachi has also agreed to make balancing payments to EMC. The remaining terms of the cross-license agreement are said to be confidential.

Joe Tucci, EMC President and CEO, commented: ‘We are extremely pleased to be able to resolve these issues in a way that upholds our principles and encourages future innovation. The customers of both EMC and Hitachi, who rely on our respective information storage technologies, are the real winners.’