NetApp unable to comment

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-03-27 Print this article Print

Sun's latest lawsuit claims that SANscreen-which was developed by Onaro long before the company was bought by NetApp-now infringes upon its intellectual property, ostensibly because the Onaro storage management suite has since been upgraded with NetApp IP that is currently under fire from Sun.

The filing also identified Onaro NAS Insight-network storage monitoring software-as a second product that infringes upon Sun patents.

A NetApp representative told eWEEK the company wasn't able to comment on the March 26 action "at this time."

"NetApp initiated this attack against Sun's ZFS file sharing system, and now as NetApp attempts to extend its product line, it also expands its exposure to Sun patents," Lengkeek said. "Sun is committed to protecting its innovations and the open source community against the lawsuit that NetApp questionably initiated against ZFS."

Additionally, Lengkeek said, the U.S. Patent Office has granted Sun's "re-examination request with respect to NetApp's [5,819,292] patent [for WAFL]." 

A re-examination is granted when the patent office determines that a substantial new question about the patentability of innovation exists, Lengkeek said.

In light of prior art submitted by Sun-and with considerable support from the open-source community-the patent office determined there was a substantial question raised regarding the validity of this patent and it will re-examine the NetApp WAFL patent.

Sun also has several other re-examination requests pending, calling into question the validity of other NetApp patents in this lawsuit, Lengkeek said.

"Sun is confident in our patents and claims against NetApp and pleased with the direction of this case," Lengkeek said.

The case is expected to be heard in the California court sometime this summer.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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