Hitachi Ltd. and its Hitachi Data Systems division are infringing on EMC technology in several of their products, according to claims EMC filed in court Thursday and Friday.
EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., wants the courts to issue an injunction preventing Hitachi from selling several of its products in the United States.
The technologies that Hitachi, of Tokyo, allegedly infringed on relate to EMCs Symmetric Remote Data Facility software, TimeFinder replication software and Count Key Data-to-Fixed Block Architecture patents, EMC officials said in filings with the International Trade Commission and the U.S. District Court in Worcester, Mass.
Hitachi Open Remote Copy, Hitachi Open Asynchronous Remote Copy, Hitachi ShadowImage, Hitachi Data Migration Services features and various Hitachi microcode are the infringing products, officials said.
Industry analysts market share reports continually note that Hitachi has not successfully used those specific products to supplant EMC. But “theres a difference between infringing and successfully doing so,” said EMC Vice President of Marketing Mark Fredrickson. “The basic answer to that is that Hitachi uses claims of functional parity with EMC, including and centering on the infringing products, as a way to sell products. When HDS wins business … it is typically on the backs of those claims.”
“In the last couple of decades, its been a strategy of companies as part of their business in general to file as many patents as they can,” said Tony Prigmore, an analyst with Enterprise Storage Group Inc., in Milford, Mass. “In most situations, that gets used as leverage for cross licensing.”
EMC officials spoke with Hitachi/HDS nine times in the past four years to address the patent issue, according to EMCs court filing. The ITC must respond within 30 days.
HDS officials, in Santa Clara, Calif., could not be reached for comment Friday morning. The company this week announced remote copy over IP technology, similar technology as those being challenged by EMC.