FlashDIMM flare-up: Netlist hit by Diablo counter-sueball

Patents, it's always the patents they're fighting over

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It's a flash DIMM flare-up. Diablo Technologies, being sued by Netlist for FlashDIMM patent breaches, has sued right back, alleging unfair business practices.

The legal tussle is about the technology used to add flash chips to memory DIMMs and so creating server flash storage that's faster to access than traditional PCIe flash.

Netlist, which has its HyperCloud DIMM technology, says it owns the relevant patents and alleges that Diablo Technologies, and Diablo's licensee SMART Modular Storage – which builds ULLtraDIMM products using Diablo's Memory Channel Storage (MCS) technology – are breaching its patent rights.

SMART Modular has been bought by SanDisk so that company is now involved in the lawsuit as well.

Now Diablo is suing Netlist "for unfair business practices that violate Diablo’s Intellectual Property (IP) rights". Its assertion is that MCS doesn't infringe any Netlist patents, and that its "MCS-based products and the Netlist HyperCloud DIMM are designed to serve different purposes and are not interchangeable."

Riccardo Badalone, Diablo CEO and co-founder, said in a statement: "We will demonstrate definitively that products based on the Memory Channel Storage architecture do not use any Netlist IP.

Netlist, Inc v. Smart Modular Technologies, Inc (4:13-CV-05962) is being tried in the northern California court district.

The judge will have to determine whether the companies' inventions were theirs alone or part of the NetList/Diablo collaboration back in 2008, amongst many other issues. ®


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