Hitachi comments on EMC patent allegations

Hitachi has strongly refuted claims made by EMC that it is infringing on six EMC patents, countering that the Hopkinton, Massachusetts, company simply can't compete head to head with its electronics rival.

Last Friday, EMC filed suit in 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.

The Tokyo company believes EMC's allegations are without merit and will vigorously defend its products, Hitachi said in a statement Tuesday.

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. The patents at issue in the suit are 6,101,497; 6,108,748; 6,092,066; 5,909,692; 5,742,792 and 5,544,347.

As the owner of more than 1,200 of its own U.S. patents in data storage, Hitachi has respected the "legitimate" intellectual property of others and has done so in respect to EMC, Hitachi said.

EMC's actions only hinder fair competition in the market and harm the interests of consumers, Hitachi said.

According to EMC, it was forced to file the suit after four years of negations with Hitachi failed to settle the matter. The ITC has until mid-May to decide if it will proceed with the case.

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