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Storage wars continue as Western Digital wins injunction over embattled Toshiba

WESTERN DIGITAL has won a temporary court order that gives its employees access to databases and chip samples from its joint venture with Toshiba.

The company has long shared a chip fabrication plant in Japan from the days before Sandisk was bought out by Western Digital and has a large amount of shared intellectual property as a result, says Reuters.

Western Digital (WD – for abbreviation, not referring specifically to WD, one of its sub-brands) had been fighting hard to be the preferred bidder when Toshiba put its chip business up for sale, after crippling losses in the nuclear sector forced the venerable electronics firm to restructure (again).

However, Toshiba settled on a consortium led by a Japanese state-led group and Western Digital is not happy, especially after it is alleged that Toshiba threatened to lock WD out. The deal has since stalled, but rather than look to WD, Toshiba has returned to a previous deal with rival Foxconn, which was previously the highest bidder, and to most, the most likely victor.

WD sued Toshiba in San Francisco’s County Superior Court arguing that the joint venture means that it must give consent for any sale, which it has repeatedly refused to give unless that buyer is them.

Two requests were made. One to stop the sale and another restraining order forcing Toshiba to give its WD opposite numbers access to shared information.

The access order was granted ahead of a further hearing on July 28th.

“We welcome the decision of the court, which we believe validates our position,” WD said in a statement.

Toshiba, which intends to contest the ruling said: “This is a proceeding with many rounds and many rulings, and while we are disappointed with the judge’s ruling, it doesn’t forecast the outcome of this proceeding or those to come,” Toshiba said in the statement.”

A Friday hearing will determine whether the injunction will stand, with Toshiba arguing that it gives WD too much power. 

Toshiba is already suing WD for “meddling” in the sale. µ 

Don’t let the US government put the world’s internet in the slow lane, support net neutrality. Wherever in the world you’re reading, lobby the FCC  

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