Whose to bless and whose to blame?

Hitachi and Hitachi Computer Products (America) have filed a patent infringement lawsuit against mass storage vendor EMC Corporation in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.

The complaint alleges that certain EMC data storage systems, including products in both EMC’s Symmetrix and CLARiiON product lines, infringe eight patents owned by Hitachi and Hitachi Computer Products (America). The suit also seeks an injunction against the future sale of these EMC products.

Last Thursday, EMC filed infringement litigation against Hitachi and Hitachi Data Systems Corporation at the US International Trade Commission in Washington and in the US District Court in Massachusetts, alleging that it was Hitachi’s competitive products that infringed six EMC patents.

The news comes close on the heels of the announcement that Hitachi and IBM are to combine certain of their hard disk drive (HDD) operations into a new standalone, joint-venture company that will integrate their development and manufacturing operations, as well as related sales and marketing teams. Upon completion of negotiations, Hitachi is expected to hold 70% of the joint venture and make a payment to IBM for its HDD assets.