Dell, Western Digital And HGST Hit With Hard Drive Patent Lawsuit

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Dell, of Round Rock, Texas; Western Digital, of Lake Forest, Calif.; and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, of San Jose, Calif. along with parent company Hitachi, of Tokyo, were named as defendants in a lawsuit by Convolve, an Armonk, N.Y.-based developer of technology to improve the performance of motion control systems.

Convolve has a similar lawsuit outstanding against Seagate Technology, the Scotts Valley, Calif.-based hard drive maker.

According to the Marshall, Texas branch of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Convolve on June 18 filed the lawsuit in relation to its patents 4,916,635 and 6,314,473.

The 4,916,635 patent, entitled "Shaping command inputs to minimize unwanted dynamics," was filed on September 12, 1988 by Neil Singer, a principal at Convolve, and two others, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The assignee of the patent is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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The patent is a method for generating an input to a physical system to minimize unwanted dynamics in physical system responses, and has been applied to technologies other than hard drives, including robotic arms.

The 6,314,473 patent, entitled "System for removing selected unwanted frequencies in accordance with altered settings in a user interface of a data storage device," was filed on March 4, 1999, and eventually assigned to Convolve, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It is related to controlling the seek time of a storage device in relation to the acoustic noise level of the device.

Neither Dell nor HGST responded to requests for information.

Western Digital, in an emailed response to a request for information, wrote that both patents are being re-examined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The company also wrote that it appears that the related Convolve lawsuit against Seagate is still pending.

"While WD will defend itself vigorously against these allegations, it is WD's policy not to comment on currently pending litigation," the company wrote.