Odetics Awarded $70.6 Million in Patent Case

Times Staff and Wire Reports

Odetics Inc. is to receive $70.6 million in damages from a rival seller of data storage equipment after a federal appeals court reinstated a jury's award in a patent dispute. A jury last year found that Louisville, Colo.-based Storage Technology Corp., the No. 1 maker of corporate computer tape-storage systems, infringed an Odetics patent related to data storage in network computing. The verdict was reversed by a federal judge in Virginia, but the appellate court reinstated the award Wednesday. The two companies compete in a $32-billion global market for computer storage products. Anaheim-based Odetics had also hoped punitive damages would be assessed against Storage Technology. Storage Technology executives said they have designed a new device to replace the disputed piece of technology. The damages should not have an effect on Storage Technology earnings, analysts said. Odetics stock rose $1.75 to close $11.75 on Nasdaq, and Storage Technology shares fell 13 cents to $22.69 on the NYSE.

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