| Following the patent settlement between SanDisk and PNY Technologies, Taiwan memory makers are generally shocked about the news and observe that two major camps have been formed amid the lawsuit.
SanDisk sued 25 companies, including PNY, for infringing upon its flash-related patents in late October 2007. As of today, only PNY has settled the dispute. SanDisk announced on January 3 that it has signed a patent cross-license agreement with PNY for it to sell licensed USB drives and CompactFlash (CF) cards. PNY will pay SanDisk royalties in return, but SanDisk did not reveal specific terms of the agreement.
Taiwan memory industry players are shocked by the settlement, saying that PNY had to agree to pay royalties to SanDisk because the dispute meant sales in its major market, the US, would be exposed to stiff challenges if SanDisk took further action to prohibit sales.
The industry players observed that two major camps have formed under the patent dispute; one that is lead by Kingston Technology, insisting that no patent infringement occurred, while the other camp, which is mainly formed of controller design houses, tends towards reconciliation in light of heavy litigation costs. The PNY-SanDisk settlement may possibly put pressure on those who prefer reconciliation as the later they settle with SanDisk, the more royalty fees they may have to pay.