Seagate Decides It Can't Compete With Solid State; Sues Over Patents

from the shows-how-comfortable-Seagate-is dept

Just a few weeks ago, we noted that Seagate's CEO appeared to be admitting that his company didn't have a real strategy to compete with the growing threat of solid-state flash drives competing against traditional hard drives. Instead, he said that if the competition got too hot, he'd just sue for patent infringement. Basically, he was admitting that he was planning to use patents in exactly the opposite of the way they were intended to be used. He'd use them to block an innovative new competitor, but only once that competition became serious enough. Apparently, Seagate believes that moment is now, as we're seeing more and more laptops hit the market with solid state drives, so Seagate has filed its first patent infringement lawsuit against a maker of the technology. Basically, the company is admitting that it can't actually compete or make a better product, so its strategy is to sue competitors. It's a pretty weak response, but thanks to our patent system, it may be perfectly legal (if exactly the opposite of what the patent system intended).

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  1. identicon
    MLS, 16 Apr 2008 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: ...

    Mr. Monroy,

    You are indeed a brave man to step into a lions den where:

    1. Everything is deemed obvious by most who comment.

    2. Few understand what a patent actually comprises.

    3. Patents are an annoyance and stifle innovation.

    4. A company that relies on patents to sue competitiors should be derided because they are obviously bent on protecting their current turf and out-of-date products.

    5. Most companies that use the patent system do not invest heavily in research and development, preferring instead to rely on past accomplishments.

    Your CEO could have chosen his words more wisely, but even so there is nothing fundamentally wrong with using a strong portfolio of patents to secure business relationships favorable to all the parties concerned.

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