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SanDisk wages war on patent infringement

SanDisk, the flash memory storage pioneer, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 25 international companies, many based in Asia, claiming that they infringe on patents it holds for flash card technology.

Patent infringement in this case is mostly on imports that come into the United States. The suit, filed in the US District Court in Wisconson and the US International Trade Commission, against some of the biggest names in the Flash storage business and is designed to force them pay licensing fees.

SanDisk, founded in 1988, is the original inventor of Flash storage cards and currently has approximately 780 issued US patents, and more than 400 foreign patents. It claims to be the only company, worldwide, that has the rights to both manufacture and sell every major flash card format, including CompactFlash, SD, miniSD, microSD, MultiMediaCard, Reduced Size MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick PRO and related Memory Stick products, xD-Picture Card and USB flash drives.

The list of international firms named in the lawsuit engages some of the most recognizable names in the interim storage business including LG Electronics, Imation/Memorex, Verbatim, Kingston, and Silicon Motion Technology, among others.

SanDisk has indicated that its aim is to indirectly oblige the named companies to license its technology or to stop their outputs being imported into the US.