SUNNYVALE, CA, April 2, 2000 - SanDisk Corporation (NASDQ:SNDK) announced today that the U.S. Federal District Court has ruled that Lexar Media, Inc., Fremont, CA, has infringed a fundamental solid state flash memory card patent held by SanDisk. The ruling was announced today by U.S. Federal District Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California in San Francisco. The patent, "Flash EEPROM System" (U.S. patent #5,602,987), was issued Feb. 11, 1997.
The judge also denied two motions by Lexar -- one claiming SanDisk's '987 patent is invalid and requesting a partial summary judgment of non-infringement.
Eli Harari, SanDisk CEO and president, said, "Judge Breyer's ruling vindicates our stand with regard to Lexar's infringement of SanDisk's '987 patent. We had on several occasions offered a patent cross-licensing agreement to Lexar under reasonable terms, but Lexar rejected our proposals. Our strategy has been, and remains, to license our patents to enable an open, competitive market for flash cards. We believe that this ruling strongly reaffirms SanDisk's pioneering innovations in flash memory storage and are optimistic that it will pave the way for other flash memory card suppliers that are not currently licensed by SanDisk to negotiate cross-licenses with SanDisk"
SanDisk's patent #5,602,987 teaches and claims important aspects of the emulation of a magnetic disk drive in removable flash memory cards, such as PC CARD, CompactFlash™, MultiMediaCard and the Secure Digital (SD™ ) Memory Card. The removable flash memory card claimed in the patent appears to the computer, digital camera, digital Internet music player or other digital device to be completely identical to the industry standard magnetic disk drive although the flash memory is solid state, has no moving parts, is extremely compact and rugged and consumes negligible battery power. Therefore it is ideally suited to be the universal digital storage device in the emerging post-PC era.
SanDisk, a pioneering technology company in the flash memory market, holds more than 100 related patents.
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 company assumes no obligation to update the information in this release.