Western Digital Would Like to Reformat Seagate Damages Award

Published on November 21, 2011
by John Paczkowski

A nasty loss for Western Digital in its misappropriation-of-trade-secrets battle with rival hard drive vendor Seagate. An arbitrator has ordered it to pay Seagate $525 million in damages for allegedly pilfering some trade secrets with the help of a former Seagate employee.

Full details of the dispute have never been disclosed, because the matter has, so far, been kept confidential. So it’s tough to tell what’s really going on here. But the end result is obviously unpleasant business for Western Digital, which is now on the hook for a half-billion dollars in damages, at a time when it is still reeling from the devastating floods in Thailand.

Of course, the battle is far from over. Western Digital plans to appeal the ruling. “We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator,” CEO John Coyne said in a statement. “We believe the company acted properly at all times and we will vigorously challenge the award.”

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