Just one more thing.

I promise, I do have other subjects to write about; however, immediately after my last blog we received some additional news of interest concerning the NetApp litigation.

After NetApp filed its lawsuit to halt adoption of Sun's open source ZFS technology, we responded by filing reexamination requests with the PTO citing the extensive amount of highly relevant prior art that was not disclosed or considered when NetApp originally filed its patents. The patent office clearly agreed with the relevance of this prior art, as demonstrated by its rejection of the claims across all of the reexaminations. Of these patents, three have been described by NetApp as "core" (US Patent Nos. 6,857,001; 6,892,211; and 5,819,292). Here's the current status of each of them:

NetApp Patent No. 6,857,001 - The PTO rejected all 63 claims of the patent based on 10 prior art references provided by Sun. In addition, the trial court has agreed to remove that patent from the litigation for now pending the final reexamination by the PTO.

NetApp Patent No. 6,892,211 - The PTO rejected all 24 claims of the patent based on 12 prior art references provided by Sun. There is currently a request pending before the trial judge to stay this patent from the litigation as well.

NetApp Patent No. 5,819,292 - And late last week, we were informed that the PTO has rejected all of the asserted claims of this patent relying on at least two separate prior art references out of the many provided by Sun. (The examiner felt that to consider the other references would be "redundant".)

Some may recall that the '292 ("WAFL" technology) patent was what NetApp's founder, David Hitz, originally highlighted on his blog as being innovative and infringed by ZFS. However, what this litigation is proving is what we have known all along - ZFS is a fundamentally different, game changing technology.

It's the same thing we hear from our customers.

Comments:

Haha - awesome news :)

Posted by dave on October 06, 2008 at 10:21 AM PDT #

Thanks for the great news. I feel even better about Sun's future than I already did! Today at Mexico City airport I met a Swedish lady who works at Google. We both enthused about ZFS, so it's awesome to know the future of ZFS is rock solid. I hope you don't back down on your countersuits now the ball is definitely in Sun's court. OpenStorage is go!

Posted by Kevin Hutchinson on October 06, 2008 at 01:55 PM PDT #

Great news indeed.

Posted by Kempton on October 06, 2008 at 03:12 PM PDT #

Thanks for the updates (and great news)! Please keep us apprised as things develop.

Posted by Larry Chew on October 06, 2008 at 04:23 PM PDT #

Mike, on June 26, you pointed out that six of NTAPs patents had re-examination requested on them. Do I understand correctly from this blog that the PTO has rejected the claims of all six of these?

I wasn't able to quickly locate a list of the six patents, could you list the six that have had all claims rejected?

If I recall correctly NTAP listed ten patents that Sun allegedly infringed on. That would leave only four remaining, or have I missed something?

Interesting times.

Alan.

Posted by Alan Hargreaves on October 06, 2008 at 10:16 PM PDT #

[Trackback] Questo mi sembra un commento più che legittimo, visto che comunque ciascun nuovo progetto prende ispirazione da qualcosa di già esistente ( WAFL stesso ne è la prova per parola dello stesso Dave Hitz ), con questa mossa NetApp si è inimicata molta (pe...

Posted by Rock around the Block on October 07, 2008 at 06:31 AM PDT #

Yes, please counter-sue, and drive NetApp into the ground.

Posted by Nate Abele on October 07, 2008 at 07:31 AM PDT #

Please find out what Dave Hitz is going to with the patent plaques for his invalidated patents.

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