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Western Digital and IBM Announce Patent Acquisition and Cross-License Agreements


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Western Digital today announced that it has acquired more than 100 patent assets from IBM (NYSE: IBM). The parties also entered into a patent cross-license agreement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Patents acquired by Western Digital are in distributed storage, object storage, and emerging non-volatile memory. Western Digital expects the IP to further strengthen its technology leadership position and drive value creation for the company and its customers. The patents will augment Western Digital's existing portfolio of more than 10,000 patents and patent applications.

"This agreement reflects our continued focus on innovation and sets the stage for even more rapid advancement and commercialization of new data storage solutions," said Mike Cordano, president and chief operating officer, Western Digital. "We are building on Western Digital and IBM's long-standing relationship and look forward to future collaborations and business opportunities."

"This agreement with Western Digital illustrates the value of patented IBM inventions and demonstrates our leadership in licensing access to our broad patent portfolio. We look forward to a productive relationship with Western Digital," said William LaFontaine, general manager, intellectual property for IBM.

IBM has led the annual list of U.S. patent recipients for 23 consecutive years.

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Nov 4, 2005
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So WD will be manufacturing IBM HDD's for enterprise storage moving forward in exchange for IP and probably some snazzy new proprietary connector and protocol for their mainframes, since Hitachi was making them before the buyout, and the contract likely expired or was going to expire.
Oct 2, 2004
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I wonder if they'll push forward the traditional HDD tech or they'll just stick with what they have now and simply drop HDD's once SSD's replace them. I mean, we just stack more data per cm2, but the read/write heads haven't evolved much just like the rest of the drive for that matter.
Jan 31, 2005
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Well - I think WD is soon going to introduce the new SMR technology, much better performance than traditional HDD technology and more GB per platter.......