EMC, IBM settle patent suits

Rivals EMC and IBM on Friday settled their longstanding lawsuit involving patent infringement allegations.

In a joint statement, the companies said they agreed to dismiss all claims and counterclaims pertaining to a patent dispute that originally began in 1994 between IBM and Data General, which EMC bought last October.

"Today's settlement amicably resolves all outstanding litigation ... with no findings or admission of liability," a joint statement from the two companies read. The companies will extend their patent cross-licensing agreement, as well as institute a five-year moratorium on patent infringement lawsuits.

An IBM spokeswoman said it was a "great outcome" and that the amount IBM paid to EMC was "negligible and far less than it would cost us to litigate."

The patent infringement allegations began in 1994, when Data General sued IBM over seven patents involving CPU and memory technology in several IBM products, including the AS/400 and System 390 mainframes.

The most recent uptick in the legal battle came last December when IBM hit EMC with a suit claiming EMC violated a cross-licensing agreement the two signed in March 1999. IBM claimed it was entitled to use technology covered by patents owned by EMC, including ones that were derived from acquisitions including the Data General buyout.

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