With Trade Panel Ruling, Overland Storage Moves Ahead With Patent Lawsuits

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Overland Storage on Friday said that the U.S. International Trade Commission agreed with the company that several vendors have infringed on one of its tape library patents, and that six claims in that patent are valid.

The ITC's initial determination in the patent infringement lawsuit opens the way for Overland Storage to continue infringement lawsuits against several tape library vendors.

The release of the ITC's initial determination comes about a month after Overland Storage said it was suing them.

[Related: Overland Sues Seven Tape Library Makers Over Alleged Patent Infringement]

The lawsuits were filed against San Jose, Calif.-based Quantum; Boulder, Colo.-based Spectra Logic; Irvine, Calif.-based PivotStor; Simi Valley, Calif.-based Qualstar; Germany-based Tandberg Data; Westminster, Colo.-based Tandberg Data; and Singapore-based Venture Corp.

All of these tape library vendors, as well as IBM and Dell, were accused of patent infringement stemming from their purchase of tape libraries from Germany-based BDT Media Automation for resale under their own brands in the U.S.

However, IBM and Dell late last year signed agreements with Overland Storage, and are not parties to the lawsuits. Spokespeople from both IBM and Dell both told CRN on Friday that they have settled with Overland Storage and that they are still selling the BDT-manufactured products.

The patent in question, patent number 6,328,766, focuses on technology for partitioning of a physical tape library into multiple virtual tape libraries which can be accessed by certain servers and not by others. Overland Storage was granted the patent in 2001.

Overland Storage on Friday said the ITC in its initial determination found that all six claims in the '766 patent are valid, and that the IBM and Dell tape libraries manufactured by BDT infringed on all six of the '766 patent claims.

Some of the tape library vendors serving as defendants in the lawsuit told CRN that Overland Storage served papers related to the lawsuit long after announcing that the lawsuits were filed, giving the impression that the timing of the lawsuit was determined more with Overland investors in mind.

NEXT: The Defendants Respond

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