NetApp unable to comment
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.