Arathon writes "Apparently the International Trade Commission is beginning an investigation that could lead to the banning of hard drive imports from Western Digital, Seagate, and Toshiba, among others, on the grounds that they fundamentally violate patents held by Steven and Mary Reiber of California. The patent apparently has to do with "dissipative ceramic bonding tips", which are important components of the drives themselves.
Obviously, a ban would be unthinkable, and yet the ITC has 45 days to settle on a fixed date for the end of the investigation. If the patents are found to be violated, and the Reibers do not allow those patents to be bought or otherwise dealt with, the importation of almost all hard drives would actually be ceased."
All theoretical chemistry is really physics; and all theoretical chemists
-- Richard P. Feynman