It would appear that the ITC has launched a patent investigation concerning five manufacturers that could mean higher costs and supply difficulties in the states. The patents owned by a Californian couple cover the use of ceramic bonding tips on the internal wiring of the drives. Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard and Dell are all in the frame for importing the drives into America. In my opinion it looks like the patent only covers a very obvious progression in the manufacturing process which would likely have been reached independently. We should see how this pans out in the next few weeks.