Quantum, StorageTek trade legal salvos

Quantum and Storage Technology (StorageTek) exchanged patent infringement lawsuits Tuesday, accusing each other of manufacturing tape drive products that infringe on the other's patented technologies.

Quantum was the first to file, accusing StorageTek of engaging in "the unlawful manufacture and sale within the United States of tape and tape drive products that infringe two separate Quantum patents," according to a Quantum statement. Quantum, based in Milpitas, California, sought an injunction against the future sale of StorageTek tape drive products that it said make use of the patents.

StorageTek retaliated soon after, accusing Quantum of unlawfully manufacturing and selling Super DLT tape drive products that infringe on two StorageTek patents. In addition to stopping future sales of Quantum Super DLT products, Louisville, Colorado-based StorageTek sought damages in royalty payments from Quantum against past sales, including treble damages for willful violation of its patents, StorageTek said in a statement. Under treble damages, the court awards the plaintiff triple the damages recommended by the jury.

"It was our hope to resolve this dispute through private good faith negotiations," Mark Roellig, StorageTek vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. "Quantum has now elected to file a frivolous complaint on two unrelated patents, apparently anticipating an unfavorable resolution of our negotiations. StorageTek will now take the affirmative enforcement of our intellectual property rights to court."

Quantum said it had been in discussions with StorageTek to reach an amicable solution.

"Unfortunately, this effort was unsuccessful, and we felt we had no choice but to initiate legal action to defend and protect our intellectual property, which is a critical element of our DLTtape storage products and technologies," John Gannon, president of Quantum's DLTtape Group, said in a statement.

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