Hitachi hits back at EMC with counter patent suit

A week after being accused of infringing six patents owned by EMC Corp., Hitachi Ltd. has filed its own lawsuit in a U.S. District Court seeking damages against EMC for the infringement of eight patents, the company announced Thursday.

The complaint, filed in the Western District of Oklahoma, contends that certain EMC data storage systems, including products in both EMC's Symmetrix and Clariion product lines, infringe on patents owned by Hitachi, based in Tokyo, and Hitachi Computer Products America Inc, Hitachi said in a statement.

Hitachi's suit also includes a request for an injunction to keep EMC, of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, from selling the products in question until the legal matter is resolved, Hitachi said.

Representatives from Hitachi and EMC could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last Thursday, EMC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Worcester, Massachusetts, seeking damages for copyright infringement and requesting in a separate complaint that the International Trade Commission (ITC) block Hitachi from importing the infringing products into the U.S.

EMC claims that its patents covering the company's SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) business continuity software and its TimeFinder remote storage software have been violated due to Hitachi's use of the technology in its HORC (Hitachi Open Remote Copy) and HOARC (Hitachi Open Asynchronous Remote Copy) products.

On Wednesday, Hitachi issued a statement denying EMC's claims of copyright infringement, accusing EMC of turning to legal action due to the company's inability to compete on the open market. [See, "Hitachi comments on EMC patent allegations," April 17.]For its part, EMC claims it was forced to file its initial lawsuit after four years of negotiation with Hitachi failed to settle the matter.

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