Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lake Cherokee, Bass Computers et al. end Patent Dispute over Disk Drive

Case Filed: Jun 30, 2010

Case Closed: Aug 16, 2013

Court: Texas Eastern District Court

Judge: Rodney Gilstrap

Case Summary:
A patent infringement case was filed by Lake Cherokee Hard Drive Technologies against Bass Computers claiming that the company along with a few other top technology leaders infringed claims in its ‘738 and ‘162 patents relating to hard disk drives. Hitachi, LSI, Marvell Semiconductor Inc., Tech Data Corp. and STMircorelectronics were the other defendants named in the suit. The patents involved in suit were:

·        US5844738 entitled ‘Synchronous read channel employing a sequence detector with programmable detector levels’ issued on Dec 01, 1998
·        US5978162 entitled ‘Synchronous Read Channel Integrated Circuit Employing a Channel Quality Circuit for Calibration’ issued on Nov 02, 1999

Both the patents expired[i] on Feb 01, 2013 and were last assigned[ii] to Lake Cherokee Hard Drive Technologies (source: MaxVal’s Assignment Database). Plaintiff alleged that defendants have infringed the patents by manufacturing products including hard disk drives that are covered by the ‘738 and ‘162 patents. Lake Cherokee sought damages for patent infringement and an injunction preventing defendants from manufacturing using the technology claimed in the patents without plaintiff’s permission. 

In 2010, Hitachi was dismissed from the case as the parties entered into a settlement. STMicroelectronics was also dismissed as a result of filing voluntary dismissal. In the year 2011, Samsung was dismissed due to stipulation filed by both the parties. Later in 2013, Bass Computers, LSI and Tech Data have either settled with Lake Cherokee or filed a joint stipulation of dismissal with the plaintiff, agreeing to dismiss all claims against them and counterclaims filed by them. MSI was sole defendant left in the case and on Aug 16th, Court signed off judgment in favor of MSI with entitlement to costs. 

See 2:10-cv-00216 for more details. To get alerts on cases filed/closed, subscribe to our Litigation Alerts.

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[i] Expected expiration date. Patent Term Estimator is a free web-based tool that automatically calculates patent terms and expiration dates for U.S. utility patents.
[ii] MaxVal offers Patent Assignment Alert service where subscribers receive email alerts when assignments relating to target applications, patents or entities of interest are recorded.

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