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Hitachi says IBM issue may be met out of court

The Hitachi Corporation said prospects were good for a negotiated settlement of the civil case brought against it by IBM. Discussions with IBM were linked to a deal with US authorities, a Hitachi official said, under which the Japanese computer company and two of its employees pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiring to transport stolen IBM secrets.

But the Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, facing similar federal and IBM suits , said it would maintain its not-guilty pleas. Mitsubishi is due to stand trial in San Francisco July 19.

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