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February 24, 2009

Seagate drops lawsuit against STEC

Seagate alleged that several STEC products violated four of its patents

By CBR Staff Writer

Hard disk drive manufacturer Seagate Technology has dropped its patent infringement lawsuit against STEC. STEC also dropped a countersuit alleging that Seagate misappropriated STEC’s intellectual property.

STEC provides high-end, single-level cell NAND flash memory-based SSDs to original equipment manufacturers including EMC and Sun Microsystems, which use them in their storage arrays as a top-tier disk drive.

The lawsuit, filed by Seagate in US District Court for the Northern District of California in April 2008, alleged that several STEC products, including SSDs and some DRAM devices, violated four of its patents. Seagate said it dropped the lawsuit because economic conditions didn’t allow for it to pursue the case.

STEC said as part of the dismissal, no money was exchanged and neither party licensed its technology to the other.

Manouch Moshayedi, chairman and chief executive at STEC, said: This is an important development in light of the mass adoption of SSDs. With Seagate having dropped its case against us, we believe the uniqueness of SSD design relative to traditional HDD technologies has been established. Since STEC plays a major role in the proliferation of SSD technology, we view the dismissal as a vindication of our technology. We have a 15-year history of SSD design and development, over which time we have amassed strong SSD intellectual property. We have always maintained that the allegations brought against us by Seagate were without merit. With this case behind us, we can now optimize our resources to take full advantage of the market opportunities at hand.

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