Seagate Stole HD Technologies from MIT?

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Seagate, you naughty hard drive manufacturer, you.  It seems like there have been some shady goings-on at the organization. An MIT spin-off called Convolve is suing them (again) for infringing upon some hard drive noise reduction patents. The new twist, however, makes the case sound like something out of a movie. 

An ex-employee of Seagate has turned whistleblower, accusing the company of willfully engineering competing and patent-infringing technologies based on Convolve’s own, despite signing NDAs and who knows what other clauses and contracts.  The former employee, an apparent engineer in Seagate’s division, claims his employer misled the engineering team and later destroyed evidence of their duplicity in the form of blueprints from the Convolve meetings. 

From the NYT article:

“I was deceived by my management’s failure to tell me that the Convolve technology discussed within Seagate was NDA protected,” Mr. Galloway said in a section of the affidavit reproduced by Ms. Steinberg. “If I had known about Convolve’s NDA with Seagate, I would not have worked on competing technology.”

The engineer in question, Mr. Galloway, used to be a witness for Seagate in the patent disputes, so they may face a difficult time discrediting his testimony.  Convolve, who also has suits pending against Dell, Hitachi and Western Digital no doubt wants the suits over with before the consumer market moves on to SSDs, which, naturally, wouldn’t require any licensing of their noise reduction tech.




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