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Forbes: Sun vs. Sun

Mar 19, 2000, 16:50 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Seth Lubove)

[ Thanks to George Mitchell for this link. ]

"What would cause Sun to get so nasty? A patent infringement lawsuit filed by Sun against Kingston that would cost Kingston all of $5 million to $15 million in annual royalties. Sun Microsystems' lawsuit claims that Kingston's primary product, add-on computer memory modules, is infringing on a Sun patent. Kingston, with sales last year of $1.4 billion, is the world's largest maker of the after-market modules, which are used to expand memory in computers."

"Sun claims the unique right to assemble memory chips into modules. To Kingston, this patent claim is akin to patenting electrons. Memory modules, or DRAM modules, are ubiquitous and a commodity, amounting to a total market that Dataquest estimates will reach $30 billion this year. Worse, David Sun sees sinister motives in Sun's action: Once Kingston capitulates, Sun will go after every maker of memory modules from "Apple to Z," resulting in a huge toll on the computer business if Sun, as seems likely, asks for a 3%-to-5% royalty on revenues...."

"Kingston's legal position is that Sun is getting rich off a bogus patent. "We have smoking gun documents that establish that Sun didn't invent what it claims were the principal aspects of its quote, unquote, invention, and that Sun knew it," Dunlavey intones, accusing Sun of dumping 3,000 pages of materials on a hapless patent examiner on just one day."

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