The wrangling over Zip-compatible cartridges continues, as Nomai S.A. today made its latest rebuttal against Iomega Corp.
Iomega has claimed that two independent laboratories found that XHD cartridges from Nomai have a high failure rate in Iomega's Zip drives and may cause damage to the hardware (see 12.01.97, Page 7). Nomai today, however, said that Iomega's tests were based on "early, hand-made, pre-automated, pre-production" cartridges and were performed on Zip notebook drives containing a light baffle that rejects the Nomai disks.
Nomai of Avranches, France, said two independent laboratories tested the XHD cartridges and these facilities concluded that the XHD products perform "equivalently" to the Zip cartridges. Additionally, Nomai cited a report from the German computer journal C't Magazine that stated that the XHD media works perfectly with all SCSI, ATAPI (AT Attachment Packet Interface) and Parallel Zip drives.
Roy, Utah-based Iomega recently won several injunctions against Nomai specifying that Nomai could not distribute, sell or advertise its XHD cartridges with any claim that they are compatible with the Zip drive. Nomai had initially announced plans to manufacture and distribute the cartridges in Europe this September. It was also planning to ship the disks in the United States.
However, Iomega announced in November that the U.S. District Court for northern California had issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Nomai and its domestic distributor from "making, selling, offering for sale, using, importing or distributing Nomai's XHD cartridges in the United States which claim on their labeling or packaging that Nomai's XHD cartridges are compatible with Iomega Zip disks or are compatible with Zip drives or disks." The order is in effect until Dec. 12, when another hearing is scheduled to take place.
In Germany, meanwhile, the District Courts of Mannheim and Dusseldorf issued ex parte preliminary injunctions against Nomai's German distributors, imposing similar restrictions on Nomai's German operations. The London High Court of Justice also issued a similar injunction against Nomai at the end of October. Another hearing had been scheduled in France, where Nomai originally planned the XHD's launch.
Analyst Jim Porter, president of Disk/Trend Inc. of Mountain View, Calif., said Nomai still has a chance to turn the situation around. "It's a little like those vitamins and herbs that the FDA says you can't claim cure certain ailments - on the packaging," he said. "But the company just goes ahead and puts out a separate piece of paper that makes those claims."