Monday, October 15, 2007

What's your back up plan if you can't get hard drives from Seagate?

Another item for the ' you can't make this up category'

See here....
The International Trade Commission (ITC) has announced that it plans to begin an investigation into several companies that either make or use certain hard drives. In a statement issued yesterday, the ITC said that the hard drives in question are alleged to infringe on patents owned by California residents Steven and Mary Reiber. The two filed a complaint with the ITC in September, saying that the importation of the hard drives violates section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930.


There are currently five companies being investigated by the ITC, including Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell. All five companies either manufacture drives that use "dissipative ceramic bonding tips," or sell products that use such hard drives. These parts are used to bond electrical wires within the hard drive—while the ITC doesn't specify exactly which patents the technology allegedly infringes on, two patents that are owned by the Reibers, titled "Dissipative ceramic bonding tool tip," appear to fit the description.

Here is more info ....
The Washington-based body said the investigation has been launched in reaction to a complaint of violation of Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and seeks a ban on importation into the U.S. of products that allegedly infringe on U.S. patents. The complaint was made a month earlier by Steven and Mary Reiber of Lincoln, California, and is centered around "dissipative ceramic bonding tips," which is related to electrical wire connections inside the drives.

The ITC did not name the patents alleged to have been infringed, but according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records, the Reibers hold patents 6,935,548 and 6,651,864 covering such methods.

With Wednesday's decision to open an investigation, the ITC has a 45-day timeframe in which to set a target date for completing the investigation. The case will be heard by ITC administrative law judge Carl Charneski, who will set an evidentiary hearing.

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It sounds like the Selden Patent on the automobile to me.....

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