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Court rules Imation can sell its own DLT tapes

Court rules Imation can sell its own DLT tapes


A California court ruled today that Imation can sell its own version of digital linear tape (DLT) cartridges based on Quantum Corp.'s technology but will have to pay a hefty royalty to Quantum for each tape sold.

Both sides in the case are claiming victory in the ruling on an injunction filed by Quantum to stop Imation from selling what it calls "unqualified" tapes.

Quantum filed the request two days after Imation filed a US$450 million antitrust lawsuit in federal court against Quantum. In its suit, which is still pending, Imation claims Quantum is guilty of price fixing and monopolizing the DLT tape market.

After hearing arguments in state court Friday, Judge William Elfing issued a two-page ruling which stated that, pending the outcome of the case, Imation would have to pay a 30 per cent royalty to Quantum based on the storage vendor's contracts with other resellers of its technology.

Quantum's suit claims Imation is guilty of "extreme and pervasive misappropriation of trade secrets, deceptive and misleading advertising and unfair business practices," and the company, in a statement, said the judge's ruling proves "Imation is using Quantum's valuable trade secrets without authorisation."

DLT is a widely adopted technology for backing up and archiving data. Quantum says it has sold more than 1.7 million tape drives and 70 million cartridges since 1994.

Imation, which had been reselling Quantum's DLT tapes, said it has been selling its own Black Watch Digital Linear Tape IV cartridges since October 1, and the judge's ruling won't change that. Allen said the 30 per cent royalty imposed on them "helps people understand what they're doing to fix the pricing of their product."

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