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Federal Court Reverses Earlier Decision On SanDisk Patent Suit

The new decision effectively renews SanDisk's almost 4-year-old patent-infringement suit against Ritec, Pretec, and Memorex.
MANHASSET, N.Y. — SanDisk Corp. has announced that the U.S Court of Appeals for the Federal Court has reversed a summary judgement by a California District Court regarding SanDisk's '987 memory card patent, thus renewing the memory disk supplier's almost four-year old patent infringement suit against Ritec, Pretec, and Memorex.

SanDisk (Sunnyvale, Calif.) originally filed suit against the three companies on Oct. 31, 2001 for allegedly violating San Disk's U.S. Patent No. 5,602,987, relating to key aspects of removable memory card operation. The California District Court had issued a summary judgement ruling SanDisk's patent was not infringed upon, which SanDisk appealed.

"We are very pleased with the decision handed down by the CAFC and believe this reaffirms the important and fundamental nature of SanDisk's patented technology," said E. Earle Thompson, chief intellectual property counsel of SanDisk. "SanDisk will continue to protect its investment in intellectual property and vigorously enforce its patents against companies that seek to use SanDisk's patented technology without a license."

Considered the largest global supplier of flash data storage products, SanDisk has been gung-ho about protecting its patents.

Last October, SanDisk filed suit against STMicroelectronics NV, alleging the semiconductor supplier's NAND flash memory chips infringed SanDisk's U.S. patent number 5,172,338.

On April 25, SanDisk said it would expand its litigation against STMicroelectronics, seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged infringement of several patents related to NOR flash memory technology.