HP sues EMC for patent infringement

Hewlett-Packard Co. brought patent infringement charges against EMC Corp. Monday, saying EMC's Symmetrix, CLARiiON and TimeFinder products infringe on several patents held by HP.

The suit, which will be heard in the Northern District Court in California, is not the first EMC has been involved in. Earlier this summer it filed patent infringement charges against Hitachi Data Systems, a company that OEMs high-end storage gear to HP.

According to an HP spokesman, EMC is infringing on seven major patents. HP has asked for injunctive relief, meaning it is asking the court to demand that EMC stop shipping the alleged infringing products.

HP's suit apparently is in reaction to EMC's grievance against Hitachi.

"As a leader in storage solutions, we would prefer to compete with EMC in the marketplace," said Bob Schultz, vice president of marketing for HP Network Storage Solutions. "EMC, however, has opted to pursue a lawsuit against one of our technology providers, Hitachi, as well as against HP directly through ongoing litigation relative to StorageApps, which HP acquired last year. HP has a responsibility to ensure that, as we compete in the marketplace, we are not competing against our own intellectual property. We have a strong patent portfolio covering storage technology, and we will protect it."

Among the patents HP alleged EMC infringed are those covering technology to transfer data between storage media, to reduce the number of reads and writes in a RAID environment, to couple host computers by a switching network to a storage array, to handle a disk failure in a RAID array and to present logical units to host computers.

HP is also seeking monetary damages. The action does not affect the exchange of management APIs between EMC and HP, a spokesman says.

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