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Hitachi sues maker of tiny drives

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies sues for infringement of multiple Hitachi patents relating to hard-disk drives.

The battle over tiny hard drives has again landed in court.

Drive maker Hitachi Global Storage Technologies in late December said it had sued hard-drive company GS Magicstor of China, its Chinese parent company GS Magic and Riospring of Milpitas, Calif., for infringement of multiple Hitachi patents relating to hard-disk drives. Hitachi described Riospring as Magicstor's research affiliate.

GS Magicstor, which makes small hard drives, including 1-inch models, did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment. Hitachi 1-inch drives can be found in Apple's popular iPod Mini, and the company plans to offer a smaller version of its 1-inch "Microdrive" later this year.

Last year, drive makers Seagate Technology and Western Digital sued small-drive maker Cornice, alleging patent infringement. Cornice filed counterclaims against Seagate. Small hard drives store data in portable devices such as music players and mobile phones.