Network Appliance Files Suit Against Sun Microsystems to Defend Its Intellectual Property
Sunnyvale, Calif. - September 5, 2007
-- Network Appliance, Inc.
(NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced that in the wake of prolonged and
aggressive claims by Sun Microsystems Inc. against the company,
Network Appliance has filed suit seeking a declaration that it is
not infringing three of Sun's U.S. patents and that those patents
are invalid. The suit also seeks a ruling that Sun infringes seven
Network Appliance U.S. patents pertaining to data processing
systems and related software. This suit is particularly targeted at
Sun's ZFS technology.
Sun's aggressive demand that we license some
of their IP caused us to examine carefully whether we were
infringing their IP rights and whether they might be infringing
ours. NetApp now believes that Sun's ZFS technology infringes a
number of NetApp patents. NetApp believes Sun unfairly distributes
ZFS technology to third parties to induce the adoption and
distribution of the infringing technology in their products without
informing them of applicable NetApp patents.
NetApp made major efforts to resolve these
issues amicably. Unfortunately, Sun shifted from an aggressive
position to not being responsive, leaving important issues
unresolved. To remove any doubts, NetApp has turned to the
For infringement of the NetApp patents, the
company is seeking compensatory damages and a permanent injunction
against Sun to prevent further distribution of the NetApp patented
technology in current or future versions of Sun's data processing
systems and related software, including their ZFS technology.
"We firmly believe that everyone is best
served by fair and responsible treatment of intellectual property,"
stated Dave Hitz, founder and executive vice president, Network
Appliance, and named inventor on five of the Network Appliance
patents at issue. "What concerns us is that through its
distribution of ZFS under its own terms and conditions, Sun is
unfairly encouraging others to adopt and distribute the infringing
technology without informing them of our applicable patents."
"NetApp is an innovation leader in the design
of data storage systems," said Dan Warmenhoven, Chief Executive
Officer, Network Appliance. "We have an obligation to protect the
technologies in our award winning solutions that have and continue
to benefit our customers. IP disputes are unfortunate and I don't
want either company to be distracted by litigation, but we must
have clarity. It's time to restore fair play for users of both
For more information about the lawsuit, please
About Network Appliance
Network Appliance is a world leader in unified storage solutions
for today's data-intensive enterprise. Since its inception in 1992,
Network Appliance has delivered technology, product, and partner
firsts that simplify data management. Information about Network
Appliance™ solutions and services is available at
Network Appliance, Inc.
Ph: (408) 822-3974