Some Christmas cheer
Some, not a lot.

According to Sun, there have been some significant changes in the mutual lawsuits:

  • In November, the two parties agreed to litigate their mutual lawsuits in northern California instead of east Texas.
  • They are litigating both the original NetApp suit and Sun’s countersuit before a mutually agreed-upon judge.
  • Sun has filed reexamination requests for three NetApp patents covering COW, snapshots and writable snapshots.

Catch up on your prior art over the holidays
Sun’s litigation documents page offers a selection of scholarly articles on related topics. Sun believes these document prior art that was not considered by the USPTO in the original patent examination.

The StorageMojo take
Bravo to NetApp for moving to a California court. Let’s get these cases settled on their merits, and soon.

NetApp needs to focus on their long-term marketing problem: NAS is a commodity. They’ve got 5 years to re-invent themselves for a world of Internet-scale data centers.

Unlike most minicomputer companies that the PC laid low, NetApp has deep core expertise, the respect of a broad customer base and a relevant brand. If any storage company can make the transition, NetApp can.

But sitting around hoping patents will protect their business won’t cut it. NetApp’s strategic planners need to be burning the midnight oil for the next 6 months. The secular trends are clear. The business cases follow. NetApp has a rich technology portfolio and a marketing edge. Will they put it together?

Comments welcome, of course. I’ll be on a light posting schedule this week. Happy holidays to one and all.