SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSD sales ban upheld, but drives in stock can be sold

SanDisk can sell ULLtraDIMM inventory but manufacturing and selling new drives using Diablo technology is still prohibited

SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSD connects flash storage to the memory channel via standard DIMM slots, in order to close the gap between storage devices and system memory. The company says it can achieve less than five microseconds write latency at the DIMM level.

SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSD connects flash storage to the memory channel via standard DIMM slots, in order to close the gap between storage devices and system memory. The company says it can achieve less than five microseconds write latency at the DIMM level.

A preliminary sales ban on certain controller chips that SanDisk uses in its high-speed, solid-state ULLtraDIMM drives has been upheld by a U.S. appeals court. The court also ruled, however, that the company can sell existing products in stock that use the chips.

SanDisk and Diablo Technologies, a Canadian company that manufactures controller chips for SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSDs, had requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit lift the ban, issued last month by a California federal district court.

The preliminary injunction barred both Diablo and SanDisk from manufacturing, using, distributing, and selling SSDs using the controller.

The ban was issued on a request from Netlist, which invented and developed a memory interface technology designed to increase the speed of servers. It worked together with Diablo to implement a memory-controller chipset based on this technology. However, after that, Netlist alleges, Diablo stole Netlist's trade secrets and incorporated them into Diablo's own products, which were later used in SanDisk's ULLtraDIMM SSDs.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found on Jan. 6 that evidence brought by Netlist is likely to show that Diablo breached a contract with Netlist and caused Netlist irreparable harm. That was the reason it decided to ban the sale of products using the controller pending the lawsuit.

SanDisk and Diablo protested the ban, arguing that the district court made several errors. The appeals court noted that SanDisk, in particular, argued that since it is not a party in the suit, the district court erred in issuing an injunction against its products. This was reason enough to lift the ban on SanDisk's current stock of ULLtraDIMM SSDs, the court said in a Tuesday order.

SanDisk will not, however, be able to acquire additional controller chips from Diablo once SanDisk's existing inventory is exhausted, said Netlist in a news release.

The injunction against Diablo will remain in place during the lawsuit and Netlist said it is confident that it will secure a permanent injunction that will prevent future unauthorized use of its intellectual property.

A jury trial is set to begin on March 9 in Oakland, California.

While the injunction order specifically identified ULLtraDIMM as well as IBM's eXFlash modules, the sales ban affects all modules containing Diablo components, Netlist said.

SanDisk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalsandiskintellectual propertyCivil lawsuitsDiablo TechnologiesNetlist

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

Logitech Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker

Learn more >

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?