EMC Bids $2.5M for Intellectual Property

EMC bid $2.5 million to acquire intellectual property from storage service provider Sanrise.

EMC Corp., having failed in its attempts so far to directly trade application programming interfaces with arch rival Hitachi Ltd., is stepping up its efforts to obtain them indirectly.

EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., has bid $2.5 million to acquire intellectual property from Sanrise Inc., a storage service provider that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this summer. Sanrise partnered with Hitachi to build a storage management product, but that was abandoned before it ever shipped, said Sanrise Chief Operating Officer Philip Connolly, the top executive left at the 59-person, Dublin, Calif.-based company.

Sanrise instead focused on selling its technology to customers like Cable & Wireless plc and more than a dozen others, which he declined to name. The EMC deal will not affect Sanrises ability to stay in the service provider business, Connolly added.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Oakland, Calif., was expected to determine Friday how much time other companies have to counter EMCs bid, Connolly told eWEEK. Barring such a bid, "Were moving forward to close the transaction," he said.

The bid is significant because it indicates that EMCs attempts to figure out the APIs through its publicly stated reverse engineering attempts werent successful, industry observers said. EMC needs the APIs to be able to directly manage Hitachis hardware, instead of just launching Hitachis own tools underneath EMCs interface.

"Obviously were keeping our eyes open for intellectual property as the industry continues to consolidate and in some cases where companies shut down. From time to time EMC participates in public auctions of assets. Some result in acquisitions, others will not. So its premature to comment on any activity in this realm," an EMC spokesman said in a statement Friday.

Hitachi did not return calls for comment.

EMC also recently acquired Prisa Networks Inc., of San Diego, and the assets of Cereva Networks Inc., which was based in Marlborough, Mass.

EMC has been successful in trading APIs with Hewlett-Packard Co. and with non-competing partners. A deal to trade APIs with IBM is in discussions, sources have said. But a deal between EMC and Hitachi will not happen, officials of the Tokyo company have said, because of their ongoing patent infringement lawsuit with EMC.