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Honeymoon Over for Aruba: Motorola Launches Patent Lawsuit

Motorola, via its subsidiaries, Symbol and Wireless Valley, has launched a
patent infringement lawsuit against Aruba Networks.
Rather than seek a
licensing agreement, Motorola stated in their press release that they are
looking to prevent Aruba from using their technology and monetary damages
for their past use.


Even though the lawsuit was filed Monday in U.S District Court in Delaware,
where Aruba is incorporated, Aruba had not yet been officially served when
they conducted their quarterly earnings call Tuesday afternoon. A company
official confirmed on Friday that they had received it, but they had no
official statement beyond "Our legal team is reviewing the allegations
thoroughly and will respond as appropriate. However, it is the company's
policy not to publicly discuss pending litigation, so any forthcoming
comments will be very limited."

The press release and filed suit don't provide any specifics regarding how
Aruba's product violate the four patents, but the general claim is that they
have infringed against their WLAN site planning and RF management patents.

No other vendors are mentioned in the lawsuit, even though there are many
others who sell similar WLAN site planning products, such as AirMagnet,
AirTight, and Ekahau, and all the enterprise WLAN vendors include some kind
of RF management capabilities. It appear that the 3-dimensional nature of
Aruba's WLAN planning tool is at issue here, as Wireless Valley's patents on
3D visualization has been a restricting design factor for both AirMagnet and
AirTight, as confirmed in past briefings with those two vendors.

According to an InformationWeek article referring to a Dell Oro report,
Aruba's market share has surpassed Motorola. Aruba's continued expansion of
its sales team will likely to place additional pressure on Motorola while it
busies itself with educating Motorola's enterprise sales teams and channel
from its January acquisition of Symbol. Aruba claims that now they are a
publicly traded company it has mitigated some of the "vendor viability"
concerns by buyers, which appears to be confirmed by a doubling of their
market share since their March IPO.

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