Sun Slaps Network Appliance With New Patent Suit

Sun claims NetApp's storage management software violates its patents for device discovery, remote monitoring, event filtering, and remote rebuilding of computer states.

Paul McDougall

April 3, 2008

1 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Sun Microsystems has filed a lawsuit suit against Network Appliance, claiming that the storage device manufacturer's products infringe on several Sun patents. It's the latest salvo in an ongoing legal skirmish between the two vendors.

Sun claims NetApp's Onaro SANscreen and NAS Insight storage management software violates its patents for device discovery, remote monitoring, event filtering and remote rebuilding of computer states, according to court papers filed last week in U.S. District Court for Northern California.

Sun says it's been "irreparably harmed by NetApp's acts of infringement."

NetApp acquired Onaro in January with an eye to bolstering its storage service management offerings.

Sun claims NetApp is forced to use purloined technology because it's not very inventive. "Rather than innovate, NetApp builds on the innovation of others," Sun claims.

Sun says its research and development spending is quadruple NetApp's spending on R&D.

Sun also claims NetApp is leeching off the open source community. NetApp "uses extensive amounts of open source code developed by others, without contributing any innovation of its own," Sun alleges.

Sun has asked the court to prohibit NetApp form selling the disputed technology and is also seeking unspecified damages. Sun also wants NetApp to pay its attorneys fees. NetApp has yet to file a formal response to the charges.

Sun and NetApp have met previously in the courtroom.

Sun sued NetApp for patent infringement last year, claiming its storage and networking technology violates six Sun patents. NetApp had previously sued Sun, alleging that Sun's open source ZFS file system stepped on NetApp patents.

The cases are ongoing.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox
More Insights