Overland Loses Ruling in Library Patent Case Against BDT

Overland Storage Inc. (OVRL), a maker of data-protection systems, lost a patent-infringement ruling against BDT-Solutions GmbH over storage systems that archive a company’s electronic records.

BDT didn’t violate Overland’s patent rights, U.S. International Trade Commission Judge Charles Bullock said in a notice posted on the Washington agency’s website.

The case targets closely held BDT’s FlexStor II product line of automated tape libraries, which it makes overseas and then lets companies sell in the U.S. under their own brand names. Automated libraries backup or archive data on tape drives in a central location and then retrieve that data from networked computers, often using robotic arms.

The Overland patents, covering technology it uses for its NEO systems for small- and medium-sized companies, are for the apparatus and methods of storing or retrieving the data. The Neo series accounted for about 31 percent of the company’s $59.6 million in revenue in fiscal 2012, the company said in its annual report.

Bullock in June said neither of the two patents had been infringed, and one aspect of one of the patents was invalid. The six-member commission in January ordered the judge to review those findings, particularly as it pertained to the validity issue on one of the patents and infringement of the other, which relates to a mail slot in the devices.

San Diego, California-based Overland named International Business Machines Corp. and Dell Inc. (DELL) in the original complaint; it later settled with those companies. Overland also has filed patent-infringement lawsuits against other competitors, including Quantum Corp. (QTM) and Qualstar Corp. (QBAK) Those cases are pending in federal court in San Diego.

The case is In the Matter of Automated Media Library Devices, 337-746, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

To contact the reporters on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net or Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

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