Samsung, Hitachi Sign License Deal on Hard Drives

The deal covers hard disk drive patents held by both IBM and Hitachi.

SEOUL (Reuters)—Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday it had agreed with Hitachi Ltds data storage business unit to a license deal over hard disk drive (HDD) patents.

Samsung, the worlds largest maker of memory chips, said in a filing with the Korea Exchange that the agreement with Hitachi Global Storage Technologies Inc covers HDD patents by International Business Machines Corp and Hitachi.

Japanese electronics conglomerate Hitachi bought IBMs disk drive operations in 2002 for $2 billion.

Samsung did not provide details of the licensed patents.

Along with the agreement, Samsung and Hitachi would drop patent suits they have filed against each other, Samsung said.

Hitachi had sued Samsung in December 2006 and Samsung filed a countersuit in March 2007, a Samsung spokesman said.

Samsung, which makes HDDs and NAND flash-based solid state drives, also produces a hybrid product using both storage technologies.

(Reporting by Rhee So-eui; Editing by Sei Chong)