Western Digital (WD) has been ordered to pay $525m (£336m) by an arbitrator in a pending case in the US brought against the firm by market rival Seagate.
The dispute centres on a current WD employee who was formerly employed by Seagate and involves the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
Full details of the dispute have not been disclosed because the case is still pending but a UK WD spokesperson told V3 it is quite likely the company will contest the ruling.
An official statement by chief executive John Coyne added weight to this suggestion, as he dismissed the ruling by the arbitrator and said the firm would look to counter the decision.
"We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator. We believe the company acted properly at all times and we will vigorously challenge the award," he said.
Coyne went on to state that the judgment does not affect WD's ability to conduct its operations or the firm's planned acquisition of Hitachi GST.
Legal spats such as this could become more likely in future as the hard disk market becomes increasingly consolidated.
Once complete, the two acquisitions will leave WD and Seagate with almost complete control over global hard disk supplies.
The European Commission was so concerned over the moves that it announced an investigation earlier this year to determine how the mergers might adversely affect competitiveness in the hard disk market.
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