Raytheon Sues Eight Tech Vendors

Defense contractor alleges Brocade, QLogic, Veritas, and others violate its storage patent

January 23, 2003

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Defense contractor Raytheon Co. has filed a federal lawsuit against eight technology companies, alleging that they infringe its seven-year-old "Mass Data Storage Library" patent.

Raytheon filed the lawsuit on Jan. 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, in Marshall, Texas. It names as defendants Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), Overland Storage Inc. (Nasdaq: OVRL), Qualstar Corp. (Nasdaq: QBAK), QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC), Ricoh Corp., Spectra Logic Corp., and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS).

In its complaint, Raytheon asks that the eight companies be ordered to stop selling any infringing products and to pay it for past use of the invention. The company is represented by Vinson & Elkins, a well-known corporate law firm.

At issue is U.S. Patent No. 5,412,791, "Mass Data Storage Library," which was originally granted in May 1995 to E-Systems Inc., a Dallas systems integrator catering to in the defense industry. Raytheon bought E-Systems that same year.

"We became aware of some infringements of the patent, and we're acting to protect our intellectual property," says Raytheon spokeswoman Amy Hosmer. She declined to discuss details of the lawsuit.The patent covers "a mass data storage and retrieval system" that maintains a directory of the information stored in it, and comprises multiple "data record/playback modules." Read the full text of the patent here.

On its face, that sounds like every automated tape library on the market today. Three of the companies named in Raytheon's suit -- Overland, Qualstar, and Spectra Logic -- sell such tape library systems. Other large archival systems, such as EMC Corp.'s (NYSE: EMC) Centera, could also fit this description (see EMC Has Eyes for Huge Archives).

Representatives of Brocade, Overland Storage, Qualstar, Ricoh, Spectra Logic, and Veritas declined to comment on the pending litigation. A QLogic spokesman says, "We have not yet been served, and we're unaware of any such infringement." Oracle did not respond by press time.

Eley Thompson, a partner with Chicago law firm Leydig, Voit & Mayer Ltd.

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox

You May Also Like

More Insights