Hot on the heels of yesterdays potential Australian plasma ban, comes news of the U.S. possibly banning many popular hard drives due to a patent dispute. The issue involves a patent for "dissipative ceramic bonding tips", also known as wire bonding tips which Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, HP, and Dell either use in their own foreign manufacturing process or sell products that were built, in countries other than the U.S., using them. According to Ars Technica, the problem at hand resides under Section 337 of the Tariff Act.
Section 337 bans all product importation when they infringe upon U.S. patents. Which if the International Trade Commission judge sides with the patent holder, the aforementioned companies will be subject to. Although this will only be a problem for the companies if the court sides in favor of the patent holders, Steven and Mary Reiber. Even then, they can still appeal that ruling as well, and if history gives us any clues (Remember Qualcomm?), then the hard drive manufacturers just might get off this time. Otherwise Samsung looks like it will be getting a lot of new business.