Diablo Technologies and Netlist continue their flashy patent fight to the death as Netlist today applied for an injunction to prohibit Diablo and SanDisk from making the disputed ULLtraDIMM module.
Years ago Diablo and Netlist signed a non-disclosure agreement giving Diablo access to Netlist information about its way of hooking up flash chips to memory DIMMs. Subsequently Diablo came up with its Memory Channel technology, which it licensed to SMART Storage, a firm which was acquired by SanDisk.
The technology puts flash chips in memory sockets (DIMMs) so data accesses are made straight off the CPU memory bus instead of going via the PCIe bus and taking longer.
At stake is the potentially lucrative licensing royalties/OEM fees from server vendors as they adopt the technology.
IBM, Huawei and Supermicro have licensed the ULLtraDIMM tech and its future looks bright.
Netlist first sued Diablo for using what it claimed was its own patented technology after a whistleblower wrote to the firm.
Then Diablo counter-sued in September, saying it didn’t use any Netlist-owned IP, just IP that Diablo was entitled to use.
Like a tennis player returning the serve, Netlist's application for a preliminary injunction “[asks] that Diablo and its partner SanDisk be immediately enjoined from any further manufacture or sale of the ULLtraDIMM,” claiming that “Diablo’s blatant breaches of contract [begin] with actually using Netlist’s chips in earlier versions of the ULLtraDIMM.”
Netlist also alleges that Diablo engaged in “misappropriation of many Netlist’s trade secrets.” ®