SanDisk is well-known for their flash memory. Any electronics store you walk into is going to carry their flash drives. They won't be the only ones you see though, there will be up to a couple of dozen products from other manufacturers on the shelves as well. Take a good look at the competition there, as SanDisk is suing each and every one of them.
Apparently SanDisk has a few flash patents that seem to be violated by just about every flash memory maker out there. In all, the company is suing 25 of their competitors for patent infringement. These include the big guys like Corsair, Kingston, PNY and more.
SanDisk's Chief Intellectual Property Counsel E. Earle Thompson had this to say on the matter. "Our goal is to resolve these matters by offering the defendants the opportunity to participate in our patent licensing program for card and system technology. Otherwise, we will aggressively pursue these actions, seeking a prompt judicial resolution awarding damages, obtaining injunctive relief and banning importation of infringing product."
This move seems a little fishy to me. I don't doubt that SanDisk actually has several patents that are being infringed upon, but the timing seems horrible. These other companies have been selling flash memory products for years now, and SanDisk is just now deciding to do something about it. Perhaps they've just been waiting until prices fall through the floor, then slap these major corporations with a nice retroactive licensing fee. Now that would earn them a pretty penny.
SanDisk Sues 25 Flash Drive Manufacturers [via dailytech]