EMC, Hitachi settle patent disputes

EMC Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. have settled their patent disputes and struck agreements to share storage technology, the storage vendors said Tuesday.

EMC sued Hitachi and its subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems Corp. on April 11 last year, alleging Hitachi stole its technology. Hitachi subsequently filed its own patent infringement suit against EMC on April 17. An evidentiary hearing in the case brought by EMC was scheduled for next week.

All of the patents that were part of the cases are now included in a patent cross-license agreement, the companies said in a statement. Hitachi, as part of the deal, will make undisclosed payments to EMC. No further details of the license deal were disclosed.

EMC and Hitachi also agreed to exchange technology in the form of storage-related APIs (application programming interfaces). With the APIs, EMC and Hitachi will be able to develop storage management applications capable of managing each other’s systems. The API plan should be finalized in the coming weeks, the companies said.

EMC of Hopkinton, Mass., and Hitachi of Tokyo hail the settlement as a win for their customers, as both vendors will now be able to focus on their business of competing instead of litigation.