Patent Alert - Any Persistent Media Protection
tom.gardner at syquest.com
Sun Oct 12 10:23:36 PDT 1997
* From the T10 (formerly SCSI) Reflector (t10 at symbios.com), posted by:
* tom.gardner at syquest.com (Tom Gardner)
Iomega Corporation on July 1, 1997, was issued US Pat 5,644,444
"Read/Write Protect Scheme For A Disk Cartridge And Drive." The patent
was filed March 10, 1995. Iomega has sued SyQuest, in part, alleging
infringement of this patent.
This patent broadly claims software protection of media or extents
thereto. Protections described in the patent include what the SCSI
community might call Write Inhibition and/or Access Inhibition. These
claims are so broad that they could cover SCSI implementers of
I have been observing the various SCSI standardization activities since
almost the beginning, and have strong recollections that such software
protection has been frequently discussed well prior to March 9, 1994,
that is, more than 1 year prior to Iomega's filing of the patent. Some
of this discussion may relate to removable media devices such as SyQuest
or erasable Magneto Optical cartridge disk drives. Such protection may
have been discussed in the context of a request to standardize Vendor
Unique commands. Such protection may also have been implemented in context
of erasable optical mimicking RO or WO.
If my recollection can be confirmed with ANSI records, or an actual
implementation of persistent software media protection, then the patent
may be invalid. Specifically, I am looking for documentation showing
that any medium protection mode was stored upon a removable disk medium
and that the protection was implemented by the disk drive (or in the
early SCSI days, by its controller). The documentation should be prior
to March 10, 1995.
FWIW, I have been retained by attorneys for SyQuest regarding this
patent and have cleared this posting with the reflector moderator.
Your help is appreciated.
(650) 941-5324 (office)
(510) 226-4138 (SyQuest)
(650) 941-5324 (fax)
t.gardner at computer.org
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