Rembrandt IP Management have subjected both Seagate and Western Digital to federal lawsuist, alleging that both manufacturers have infringed on a couple of patents Rembrandt previously purchased from an inventor.
Uri Cohen filed back in 1997 patents that “cover low-noise toroidal thin film read/write heads”. After discovering that WD and Seagate apparently used his invention without compensating him, and realizing that he did not have the money to seek legal redress, Cohen decided to sell some interest in his patents to Rembrandt.
The patent lawsuit covers a wide variety of hard drive models, including Seagate’s Free Agent and Barracuda series, as well asWestern Digital’s My Passport and Caviar lines. How far will Rembrandt’s legal action go? A victory by the patent aggregator could force Seagate and Western Digital to pony up licensing fees—and perhaps encourage the development of more affordable and reliable SSDs?
Rembrandt markets itself as a company that helps independent inventors "commercialize their intellectual property in a way that would never have been possible if they acted alone." Yet you can bet this development will provide more ammunition for critics of the American patent system.