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NetApp v Sun: Get Ready to Rumble

Sun's response to a major patent lawsuit from Network Appliance heralds one heck of an upcoming battle.

In a public statement and via CEO Jonathan Schwartz's blog today, Sun made it clear it's ready to fight NetApp's allegations of violating IP in the ZFS code for Solaris.

Schwartz's (and Sun's) position is that NetApp is "trolling for patents," and he says NetApp needs to learn "about the futility of litigation as a mechanism for proprietary companies to stifle the rise of open source competition."

The Sun CEO claims Sun never approached NetApp about licensing its patents, as NetApp execs claimed during a press conference yesterday. Instead, he says NetApp tried to buy some patents from Sun after Sun acquired StorageTek, but Sun refused to sell them. "We've always been willing to license them," Schwartz writes.

Schwartz adds fuel to the fire by openly inviting folk to go on Sun's site and try out ZFS and the Thumper platform on which it resides. "I'd like to thank our friends at NetApp for ensuring every single customer in their installed base is aware of the outstanding economics offered by ZFS as a file system and storage virtualization platform."

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