SanDisk Sues Just About Everyone It Can Think Of For Patent Infringement

from the and-using-the-loophole-too dept

Apparently SanDisk feels that it’s been wronged. It believes that just about every company that makes USB flash drives, CompactFlash cards, multimedia cards, MP3/media players and/or other removable flash storage products are violating SanDisk patents. These products have been around for quite some time, but SanDisk doesn’t name the specific patents in its press release, so it’s not clear if these are new patents, or SanDisk’s lawyers woke up one morning and suddenly decided it would be fun to sue for patent infringement. And, sue for patent infringement they did. They’ve targeted 25 companies with patent infringement lawsuits, and (for good measure) are using the infamous ITC loophole to ban importing any of these company’s products into the US (which could happen even if the patent lawsuits get thrown out). It’s certainly tough to judge the quality of the patents in play here, but the fact that there are at least 25 companies in the space doing the same thing, and all are getting sued at once, it makes you wonder how non-obvious the patents were in the first place…

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Companies: sandisk

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Comments on “SanDisk Sues Just About Everyone It Can Think Of For Patent Infringement”

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28 Comments
angry dude says:

Mike's nonsense

Mikey

WTF are you talking about ?

Not sure about this particular case, would need to read and understand the damn patents first
But let me tell you how this plays in general with *valid* patent on novel and non0obvious inventions
Once the patent app is published (usually years before the actual patent is granted and lawsuit can be initiated) every manufacturer and his brothwer adopts technology in their products *without* even thinking about licensing it first
Like I told you beforre, it;s a dog-eat-dog world by corporate design
Gotta love it dude

Anonymous Coward says:

Tax it

I think it’s high time the nutjobs in charge of certain states of the united variety started imposing a tax/fine/levy on companies who introduce frivolous lawsuits.

The tax could be proportionate to the amount of court time wasted, and the extent of the damages sought.

Kind of like capital gains tax, except the company bringing the suit pays whether they win or not.

The only way this will stop happening is when it stops making good financial sense.

Danny says:

Re: Tax it

That would work but you have to make sure that the money collect in the manner you just described is being used a manner so that it doesn’t end up in some politician’s pocket or some fund that will end up going right back into corporations. If not you will have politicians deeming legit lawsuit frivolous just to get the money or end up with another USF.

Long Gone says:

I don't understand why

judges don’t impose that sort of thing to begin with. Like that guy who sued the cleaners in DC for losing his pants for $4 million or whatever it was. Why didn’t the cleaners counter-sue for lost income, attorney fees, and pain and suffering damages???? If I was the judge in that case, I would have given the same amount to the cleaners just for the stupidity level on the charges.

TheDock22 says:

I would need to read the patents...

If SanDisk (which if I remember correctly, did) have the patents for the design of the first Flash drive I would think other companies would need to pay royalties.

After all (unlike Vonage and other services) flash drives were not an invention that was a logical step in the development of removable storage devices. The product was unique at the time.

As far as compact flash and the other things go, it was only a matter of time before someone figured out how to make some storage device small enough to fit into a camera and small electronics.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, let us not forget that the market for flash is vibrant and if sandisk had constricted it from the outset, it might not be. I hate to flail my heavy hand around and tell people what to do with their IP, but I like this vibrant market and every single employee, owner, or shareholder at sandisk is profiting from that mightily in their individual lives right now, already.

Anonymous Coward says:

RE: RE: RE : RE: :: RE:: ER:: Mike's nonsense by a

well. this guy must work for sandisk, and is defending the short F*($ company.

2, if sandisk sues, well, lets just hope nobody slaps the governemtn with the common sence stick, which would mean they would fine the heck out of sandisk for monopoly. yay

excuse my horrid spelling, im not an english major

TheDock22 says:

Re: RE: RE: RE : RE: :: RE:: ER:: Mike's nonsense

well. this guy must work for sandisk, and is defending…

I like how the cowards always say if you disagree with a TechDirt story and side with a company you work for them or are a shill.

So far, I now work at Microsoft, Amazon, the RIAA, and EULA (maybe I would make more money if I actually did). Just because these companies do a lot of bad, occasionally they do something good that is overlooked or taken out of context.

I wish the cowards would come up with better insults and major in English.

Hael says:

ITC and Free Trade

The International Trade Commission (ITC) is an international body that rules on trade issues brought at an international level. There is only one version! For starters, all countries have some sort of established barriers to free trade. These barriers are called tariffs, aka customs duties. In addition, many countries levy an additional value added tax (VAT) on goods imported from the U.S. End result is that US goods are more expensive to purchase in foreign countries. However, we do the same thing to other countries. Imported shoes? Add on at least 25% duty to the cost of the goods. Yeah…you the consumer are paying that duty if you choose to buy imported goods. However, if you buy American, then you are paying for just the true manufacturing costs, plus markup. I look at the buying of imported goods kind of like a voluntary tax for idiots. Falls into the same category as gambling. Suckers!

Kyros (profile) says:

I could see how ScanDisk might want to sue for patent infringement, but theres two things to this that seem odd to me. First of all, it’s 25 companies at once. Second, they’ve waited until now to do it. It’s not as if they sued the first person to steal their product, which would be perfectly legitimate and a fair use of the patent system. The issue is when they wait a few years and sue everyone at once…

Max Powers at http://ConsumerFight.com (user link) says:

Patent Lawsuits

Nothing new. Patent Lawsuits are the flavor of the month. Sandisk has every right to their opinion and their decision to sue and if successful, will no doubt ask for court costs also.

On the other hand, those companies being sued will either settle or fight back with claims of a frivolous lawsuit seeking damages from Sandisk. Sandisk knows this risk and has obviously decided it’s worth it.

Let the bell ring, come out fighting and let’s see who wins (besides the lawyers.)

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