NetApp – not Oracle – announced that
. . . both parties have agreed to dismiss their pending patent litigation, which began in 2007 between Sun Microsystems and NetApp. Oracle and NetApp seek to have the lawsuits dismissed without prejudice. The terms of the agreement are confidential.
Inquiring minds might wonder what “without prejudice” means. The helpful Business Dictionary says
When used in a document or letter, these words mean that what follows cannot (a) be used as an evidence in a court case, (b) be taken as the signatory’s last word on the subject matter, and (c) be used as a precedence [sic].
Technically NetApp is reserving the right to refile the suits should, say, Oracle makes them angry. But the probable meaning is that NetApp simply didn’t want to admit legally that their patents didn’t hold water.
The StorageMojo take
While I’m pleased by this – props to CEO Georgens, who supported this decision – I’m not surprised. As I noted a year ago:
. . . Oracle is in a stronger position to negotiate a settlement with NetApp over the ZFS/WAFL patent suits. After all, why would a storage company want the world’s largest database company as an enemy?
Answer: no reason at all. But why did it take this long for common sense to prevail? Somebody powerful inside NetApp needed to be clubbed into submission first.
Sure, Exadata makes Oracle run fast. But Oracle also sells business apps and middleware that don’t need screaming performance – and Sun isn’t strong in NFS and CIFS storage.
NetApp is one of Oracle’s dozen Global Partners. Much better than being one of Oracle’s Global Enemies.
Courteous comments welcome, of course. BTW, Oracle webmaster, it’s safe to take Sun off the list of Global Partners.