Toshiba sues Lexar over flash memory patents

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The litigious world of computer memory has spawned another lawsuit: Japan's Toshiba Corp. says it has filed suit against Lexar Media Inc. over infringement of patents connected with memory cards, in reaction to two filings against Toshiba by Lexar last year.

The company filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco on Sunday, it said in a statement. The disputed patents are for NAND flash memories and their peripherals.

The dispute covers eight patents and is in reaction to legal action begun by Lexar against Toshiba last year, a Toshiba spokeswoman said. Toshiba is seeking damages and an injunction against further sales of Lexar flash memory cards and peripherals that allegedly infringe on its patents, the company said.

Lexar Media alleged Toshiba had infringed 14 of its patents in a lawsuit filed with the same court last November.

At around the same time, Lexar Media also filed suit with the Santa Clara Country Supreme Court alleging theft of trade secrets by Toshiba and two of its subsidiaries, Toshiba America Inc. and Toshiba America Electronics Corp.

Lexar said at the time, "Since the inception of Lexar Media in 1996, and including the period from 1997 through 1999 when Toshiba was represented on the Board of Directors of Lexar Media, Toshiba had access to and was presented with details of Lexar Media's methods of achieving high performance flash devices that Toshiba has now incorporated into its flash chips and flash systems."

This story, "Toshiba sues Lexar over flash memory patents" was originally published by PCWorld.

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