Radware/F5 Cookie Lawsuit Crumbles

Two companies have patched up their 18-month patent differences

September 17, 2004

2 Min Read
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Its all kiss and make up (well, almost) between application switching firm Radware Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDWR) and F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIVaa), as the two companies today settled one of their outstanding lawsuits.

F5 brought the lawsuit back in March 2003, contending that Radware had infringed its U.S patent number 6,473,802, a method for storing load balancing information with cookie technology. Not surprisingly, the two rivals are keeping the exact terms of the agreement under wraps, although they did confirm that Radware will now take a non-exclusive license of the F5 patent. This means that Radware receives the right to use the technology in return for an “undisclosed fee.”

Executives at F5 are becoming expert at handling this type of legal wrangle. Last year the company settled a dispute with NetScaler Inc. concerning the same patent. As part of the settlement, the two firms entered into a cross-licence agreement, and Netscaler agreed to pay F5 an undisclosed licensing fee (see F5, NetScaler Settle Patent Dispute).

The patent in question was awarded to F5 back in 2002, and uses an HTTP cookie stored on a customer’s computer. This allows the customer to reconnect to the same server that was previously visited at a Website.

But there is still no news on the other legal dispute between Radware and F5. In July, Radware filed a lawsuit in a New Jersey court alleging that F5 infringed one of its key technology patents (see Radware Fixes Legal Guns on F5).In that case, the patent concerns a method for load balancing client requests among redundant network servers in different geographical locations. The Mahwah, N.J., firm received the patent in April this year (see Radware Gets Load Balancing Patent), and the technology has already been incorporated into the company’s flagship Web Server Director (WSD) product, it said.

”That’s a separate case and it’s still ongoing,” said a spokeswoman for F5 contacted by NDCF earlier today. A Radware spokesman was equally forthcoming: “That (case) is still pending. We hope that it will be solved justly and quickly."

One thing is for sure, however: Patent disputes can be an expensive business. Earlier this year, Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY; London: MONI) announced a lump sum payment of $21 million to settle a long-running dispute with Telcordia Technologies Inc. (see Telcordia Pockets Patent Payment).

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum

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