Overland Sues Seven Tape Library Makers Over Alleged Patent Infringement


Overland Storage has filed suit against seven companies alleging that they infringed on two Overland patents related to tape storage technologies.

The new lawsuits come days after the International Trade Commission ruled in a separate lawsuit San Diego-based Overland Storage filed against Germany-based BDT Media Automation that the two patents in question are valid.

The new lawsuits were filed against San Jose, Calif.-based Quantum; Boulder, Colo.-based Spectra Logic; Irvine, Calif.-based PivotStor; Simi Valley, Calif.-based Qualstar; Germany-based Tandberg Data GmbH; Westminster, Colo.-based Tandberg Data Corp.; and Singapore-based Venture Corp.

[Related: Storage Tape Makes A Comeback]

The new lawsuits are for alleged infringement of two Overland Storage patents.

The first, patent number 6,328,766, was granted in 2001 and focuses on technology for partitioning of a physical tape library into multiple virtual tape libraries that can be accessed by certain servers and not by others.

The second, patent number 6,353,581, was granted in 2002 and describes a method for users to securely import or export individual data cartridges within a tape library without impacting the security or other operations of the library.

This is the second time Overland Storage has filed patent infringement suits related to the two patents.

The earlier lawsuit was filed against BDT, as well as against IBM, which imported the BDT tape libraries that Overland alleged infringed on its patents, and Dell, which purchased the libraries from IBM, said Eric Kelly, president and CEO of Overland Storage.

In that case, IBM and Dell in November settled with the ITC before the case went to the courts, a move that Kelly said shows that those two companies viewed the patents as valid.

"IBM still imports the BDT libraries under agreement with Overland," he said. "I'm very happy with the relationship with IBM."

Some of the targets of the lawsuits filed Wednesday include those who make their own tape libraries, including Qualstar, Tandberg, Quantum and Spectra Logic, while many companies targeted by the lawsuits use libraries manufactured by BDT, Kelly said.

Kelly said Overland Storage's position in its lawsuits was strengthened by the ITC's release of a summary that found that the company's '766 and '581 patents were valid.

NEXT: Positive News On The Patent Front For Overland