Jury Backs Seagate, Snuffs Siemens' Sensor Patent

By Samuel Howard (December 29, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- A California jury dealt Siemens AG a reeling blow, invalidating a patent the electronics powerhouse asserted against disc drive manufacturer Seagate Technology, concluding an infringement action that once sought nearly $400 million in damages.

The verdict, handed down Dec. 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, found that Siemens' patent was invalid based on anticipation and obviousness, leaving the patent holder empty-handed some 30 months after lodging the suit.

The verdict is an overwhelming victory for Seagate, which fended off allegations that all of its disc drives sold since 2000 infringed Siemens' patent for a sensor...

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