by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 25th 2007 11:01am
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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