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Friday, March 25, 2005
Jury orders Toshiba to pay $380 million

jury on Wednesday found Toshiba liable for breach of fiduciary duty and theft of trade secrets and awarded more than $380 million in damages to Lexar Media

The California State Superior Court jury in San Jose also found that Toshiba's actions support an award of punitive damages, which are yet to be decided, Lexar said.

Shares of Fremont, Calif.-based Lexar, which rose 5.7 percent to close at $3.17 on Nasdaq, were 48 percent higher at $4.68 in after hours trading.

The verdict "holds Toshiba accountable for its conduct--building Lexar's trust to acquire our technology and then betraying that trust to partner with our competitor and compete against us," Eric Whitaker, Lexar's general counsel, said in a statement.

A Toshiba spokeswoman in Tokyo declined to comment on the ruling, saying the Japanese firm is still checking on details of the jury's decision.

Lexar said it expects the court to rule on its separate claim for unfair competition as well as on anticipated post-trial motions shortly after a hearing currently scheduled for April 13.

Based on the jury's verdict and findings, Lexar said it intends to ask the court for an injunction that bars the sale of Toshiba's products in the United States, including Toshiba's large and small block NAND flash chips, its CompactFlash, Secure Digital and xD Picture Card products.

Lexar's case for patent infringement against Toshiba on more than 10 of its patents remains pending in Federal Court.

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