System Industries Inc of Milpitas, California, and Digital Equipment Corp, Maynard, Massachusetts, have settled all outstanding issues between them, ending litigation launched by DEC in 1980. The lawsuit alleged that some of System Industries’ disk and tape drives infringed various patents on DEC’s SBI, Unibus and Q-Bus computer interconnection and control technology. In July 1986 System Industries weighed in with a counter-suit against DEC alleging that its patent enforcement and marketing practices violated federal antitrust laws. Details of the settlement were not disclosed, but the companies say that DEC’s patent infringement suit and System Industries’ anti-trust suit will be dismissed; System Industries will be licensed to manufacture disk and tape controllers and drives that use DEC’s SBI, UniBus and Q-bus interconnection and control technology; System Industries will pay royalties to DEC in settlement of its claims and for future sales of such devices; and, sensibly, DEC and System Industries in future confer in an attempt to resolve any potential patent infringement issues between them instead of immediately reaching for their lawyers in a knee-jerk reaction.
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