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Seagate sues maker of solid state drives

Seagate Technology LLC has filed a lawsuit against STEC Inc on Monday for violating patents related to various Seagate technologies, including solid-state memory storage and memory backup systems.

“We believe they are relying on intellectual property developed or acquired by Seagate,” Seagate Chief Executive Bill Watkins said. “This is not about stifling innovation or threats to our business. We have an obligation to our company and our shareholders to protect what belongs to them.”

Seagate is asking for damages and royalties to be awarded for violating its patents and to prevent STEC from further patent infringements.

STEC is a manufacturer of SSDs for big business for military and aerospace applications. Seagate accuses STEC of infringing four of its patents that detail how drives connect to host systems to enable features like error correction.

STEC said Seagate never contacted them to discuss resolving the matter out of court. However, Watkins warned the industry that lawsuits were certain if Flash drives become too popular.

Seagate eventually wants to promote cross-licensing deals and partnerships, but the recent lawsuit strategy has the tech industry concerned about licensing and partnerships.

Some experts believe that the patent infringement case against STEC may simply be a warning signal to other SSD companies.