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Jan 4 2010   6:53PM GMT

Ex-Seagate employee drops bombshell in 10-year patent dispute

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

According to a court filing uncovered last week by the New York Times, an ex-Seagate employee has delivered significant new testimony in an ongoing patent dispute between his former employer and a firm called Convolve.

The former employee, Paul Galloway, has reportedly signed an affidavit which is summarized and quoted in the court filing, saying Seagate not only stole Convolve’s noise-reduction technology but has destroyed evidence relevant to the ongoing litigation. The suit, first brought by Convolve and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where the disputed technology was invented, is pending in a federal district court in Texas.

The filing says Galloway came forward in late November after having appeared previously as a witness for Seagate in the lawsuit. Now no longer employed by Seagate, Galloway says he and other engineers in Seagate’s servo group were given information about Convolve’s technology without being told it was supposed to be under NDA. Galloway further alleged Seagate had destroyed or hid a laptop containing his relevant work on the technology, “corrupted” source code blueprints it produced to prove Convolve’s technology hadn’t been stolen, and claimed minutes from a meeting where the Convolve technology was disseminated among Seagate engineers have gone missing.

This most recent testimony was filed in a federal district court in Manhattan, according to the Times. A conference is scheduled for the trial later this month, but it’s unclear whether Galloway’s testimony will be discussed at that meeting.

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