Hitachi: Despite EMC Lawsuit, It's Business As Usual

Hitachi Data Systems EMC

Last Thursday, EMC filed two complaints against archrival Hitachi regarding alleged infringements of patents related to its storage management software products, EMC executives said on Friday.

In the first instance, EMC sued Hitachi Data Systems and parent company Hitachi Ltd. in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts for infringing on six patents.

In the second instance, EMC filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission to prevent Hitachi from importing into the United States products that use the six patents.

Dave Roberson, COO of Hitachi Data Systems based here, said in an exclusive interview with CRN that he would not discuss specific technology issues related to EMC's lawsuit and complaint.

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However, said Roberson, the company is not surprised at the suits. "They've sued other vendors and former workers in the past. . . . [But if they have been talking to us for four years, it's hard to see why they are doing it now," he said.

The allegations by EMC that Hitachi has infringed on six patents related to storage management software and data copying has bearing not only on Hitachi's solution providers and customers, but also on those of Hewlett-Packard, which OEMs Hitachi arrays, and Sun Microsystems, which resells similar Hitachi arrays, Roberson said.

The products sold through the various channels are similar, and if one is affected by the suits, they all are, he said. "But we don't think [the products will be affected," he said. "If you look at our statement, you see we will vigorously defend ourselves."

The statement referred to by Roberson was released by Hitachi on Tuesday in which company executives said EMC was "apparently unwilling to compete head-to-head in the market- place. . . . Hitachi believes EMC's allegations are without merit and will vigorously defend its products."