Samsung and Hitachi have agreed to drop all pending patent-infringement lawsuits against each other and instead have decided to sign a license agreement covering their hard disk drive patents. Under the deal, both companies will be able to share HDD-related patents registered before 2003 permanently and others until 2011.

The deal also covers patents from IBM, whose disk drive business was bought by Hitachi in 2002. Hopefully, the agreement will bring further innovation to the hard drive market in the form of energy-efficient drives and larger capacities, which these days come from new developments in how data is recorded onto the surface of a disk to improve density rather than from just adding platters.