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10/25/2007
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SanDisk Accuses 25 Companies Of Patent Infringement

The technology is allegedly found in USB drives, MP3 players, and other flash storage products.

SanDisk has filed three patent-infringement actions accusing a total of 25 companies, including LG Electronics, of using SanDisk technology in USB drives, MP3 players, and other flash storage products.

The company filed two separate lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin, seeking unspecified damages and a permanent ban on the alleged patent infringements. In addition, SanDisk formerly asked the U.S. International Trade Commission to halt importation of the products into the United States.

SanDisk, which announced the filings on Wednesday, claims the defendants have infringed on various system-level technologies. The companies manufacture, sell and import USB flash drives, CompactFlash cards, multimedia cards, MP3 players and/or removable flash storage products.

"Our goal is to resolve these matters by offering the defendants the opportunity to participate in our patent licensing program for card and system technology," E. Earle Thompson, chief intellectual property lawyer at SanDisk, said in a statement. "Otherwise, we will aggressively pursue these actions, seeking a prompt judicial resolution awarding damages, obtaining injunctive relief and banning importation of infringing product."

In the first suit filed in federal court in Wisconsin, SanDisk accuses the defendants of infringing five patents, which are also at the center of the ITC complaint. The defendants include ACP-EP Memory, A-Data, Apacer, Behavior Computer (d/b/a Emprex), Buffalo, Chipsbank, Corsair Memory, Dane-Elec, Edge, Imation/Memorex, Interactive Media (d/b/a Kanguru), Kingston, LG Electronics, Phison Electronics, PNY, PQI, Silicon Motion, Skymedi, Transcend, TSR (d/b/a T.One), USBest, Verbatim, Welldone Company and Zotek/Zodata (d/b/a Huke).

The second federal court suit accuses the defendants of infringing on two additional patents, which are not part of the ITC action or the first lawsuit. The defendants in the second suit include A-Data, Apacer, Behavior Computer (d/b/a Emprex) Buffalo, Dane-Elec, Kingston, Phison Electronics, PQI, PNY, Skymedi, Silicon Motion, Transcend, USBest, Verbatim and Zotek/Zodata (d/b/a Huke).

SanDisk has had its own legal troubles recently. The electronics vendor and 23 other companies were named in a class-action suit filed in federal court in Northern California. The suit, which SanDisk disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission in September, accuses the defendants of price fixing. The U.S. Justice Department and a Canadian agency are reportedly looking into reports of such practices in the market.

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