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Diablo Technologies and Netlist are in an ugly patent battle

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October 8, 2014

It looks like Diablo Technologies and Netlist are continuing their ugly patent battle to the grave. Netlist applied this morning for an injunction to prohibit Diablo and SanDisk from making the disputed Ultra-DIMM module.

Several years ago, Diablo Technologies and Netlist signed a non-disclosure agreement giving Diablo access to Netlist information about its manner of integrating flash chips to memory DIMMs.

Subsequently, Diablo came up with its Memory Channel technology, which it licensed to SMART Storage, a company which was acquired by SanDisk in 2013.

That technology places flash chips in memory sockets (DIMMs) so that data accesses are made straight off the CPU memory bus instead of going via the PCIe bus and then taking a lot longer.

At stake is the potentially lucrative licensing royalties and OEM fees from server vendors as they adopt the technology in a permanent manner.

So far, IBM, Huawei and Supermicro have licensed the Ultra-DIMM technology and its future looks brighter than it did just six months ago.

To be sure, Netlist first sued Diablo for using what it claimed was its own patented technology after a whistleblower wrote to the company.

Then Diablo counter-sued last month, saying it didn’t use any Netlist-owned intellectual property, instead just the IP that Diablo was clearly entitled to use.

Like a tennis player returning the adversary's serve, Netlist's application for a preliminary injunction “asks that Diablo and its partner SanDisk be immediately enjoined from any further manufacture or sale of the Ultra-DIMM,” claiming that “Diablo’s blatant breaches of contract begin with actually using Netlist’s chips in earlier versions of the technology.”

Additionally, Netlist alleges that Diablo engaged in “misappropriation of many Netlist’s trade secrets.”

Source: Diablo Technologies.

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