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SanDisk's logo. Click here to visit the SanDisk website! Tokyo court allows SanDisk sales to continue!
(Thursday, July 12, 2001 - 16:33 EDT)

Mitsubishi's request to stop sales of SanDisk CF and PC cards in Japan pending court case is denied...

SanDisk Corp. has today distributed a press release claiming a victory in a Japanese patent infringement lawsuit with Mitsubishi Denki Co. Ltd. Mitsubishi initially filed suit alleging that SanDisk's CompactFlash cards violated three of its Japanese patents, but later dropped these claims for two of the three after SanDisk demonstrated prior art on these.

Mitsubishi had requested the court to order SanDisk stop the sale of CompactFlash memory cards in Japan pending the case, but today's announcement means that the company will be allowed to continue sales, at least until the case reaches a final outcome.

SanDisk's press release says that the patents involved were JP2099342, JP2129071 and JP2138047, of which only the first is still pending a court decision, although our own checks found that these patents belong to printer manufacturers Alps and Mita, and another Japanese company called Tone Boring Co.; presumably something is lost in the translation here as these patent numbers are incorrect. ;)

SanDisk's general counsel Charles Van Orden commented:
"The court's ruling brings to an end a litigation that SanDisk has consistently believed was unnecessary and ill-advised."
As we understand it, however, today's decision merely allows SanDisk to continue their Japanese CompactFlash sales; a ruling as to whether the Mitsubishi patent has been violated has yet to be announced.

Original Source Press Release:


SUNNYVALE, CA, July 12, 2001 - SanDisk Corporation announced today that the Tokyo District Court has ruled in favor of SanDisk K.K., a wholly-owned Japanese subsidiary of SanDisk, by denying a petition filed by Mitsubishi Denki Co. Ltd (Mitsubishi Electric). The petition had sought an injunction to stop the sale of CompactFlash memory cards sold by SanDisk K.K. in Japan. The court ruling was made June 28, 2001.

Mitsubishi Electric filed a petition for a preliminary injunction with the Tokyo District Court on April 2, 2000, against SanDisk K.K. regarding the sale of CompactFlash and PC cards. Mitsubishi claimed that the cards infringed on three Mitsubishi Japanese patents (Japanese patent numbers JP2099342, JP2129071 and JP2138047). During the litigation, Mitsubishi withdrew two of the Japanese patents from the litigation (JP2129071 and JP2138047) in response to prior art introduced by SanDisk.

Regarding the remaining Japanese patent (JP2099342), the court rejected Mistsubishi's petition for a preliminary injunction.

Charles Van Orden, general counsel for SanDisk, said, "The court's ruling brings to an end a litigation that SanDisk has consistently believed was unnecessary and ill-advised."

SanDisk Corporation, the world's largest supplier of flash data storage products, designs, manufactures and markets industry-standard, solid-state data, digital imaging and audio storage products using its patented, high density flash memory and controller technology. SanDisk is based in Sunnyvale, CA.

The matters discussed in this news release contain forward looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties as described under the caption, "Factors That May Affect Future Results" in the company's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies assume no obligation to update the information in this release.

All trade names are either registred trademarks or trademarks of their respective holders.

SanDisk's web site/home page address: http://www.sandisk.com

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