HP, EMC lawsuits come to an end

After a long-standing dispute on patent infringements, HP and EMC have decided to amicably dismiss all claims and counterclaims, with HP agreeing to pay US$325 million to EMC to settle the case.

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By  Caroline Denslow Published  May 12, 2005

After a long-standing dispute on patent infringements, HP and EMC have decided to amicably dismiss all claims and counterclaims, with HP agreeing to pay US$325 million to EMC to settle the case. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, HP can fulfill the payment by purchasing the equivalent of EMC products — either for resale or internal use — such as the VMWare product line, over the next five years. The deal, which ends all the legal cases between the two companies over patent infringements, closed with no findings or admissions of liability. Paul Dacier, EMC’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in a statement: “We are pleased with these agreements. This resolution allows EMC to protect our substantial intellectual property investments and patent portfolio while serving the best interests of our customers.” “HP is happy to conclude this matter in a way that recognises the strength of both companies’ intellectual property portfolios and provides positive benefits to customers desiring interoperable multi-vendor solutions,” said Joe Beyers, vice president of intellectual property licensing, HP. As part of the settlement, the two companies have also signed a five-year patent cross-license agreement, which could possibly lead to the expansion and strengthening of their partnership and reselling arrangements, according to both HP and EMC. “By expanding our relationship with EMC’s various software divisions, HP will be able to deliver a more formalised approach to selling these solutions, and explore new ways to integrate and leverage our complementary offerings,” Beyers explained. “Upon completion [of the agreement], we expect to have a business relationship that will provide the customers of both companies with additional choices and technology that can accelerate their adoption of information lifecycle management,” Dacier added. The four-year dispute started when HP acquired StorageApps in 2001, which, at that time, was being sued by EMC for infringing its patents on mirroring technology. HP counter-sued with allegations that EMC’s products used seven of HP’s patented technologies. EMC retaliated with at least six infringement claims against HP.

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