Patents and lawsuits
I wrote in my articles about the CEC that Jonathan looked really pissed about the patent lawsuit at a certain court in Texas (in my opinion, this says enough about the claims). And my inkling about Jonathans opinion wasn´t false: He is really pissed . Just have a look at his latest blog entry - “ZFS Puts Net App Viability at Risk?”. I think this blog entry and the preannouncment of an reciprocal lawsuit is something like the last call to Network Appliance to return to a sane behaviour before it gets nasty. And nasty means really nasty:
And to be clear, once again, we have no interest whatever in suing NetApps - we didn't before this case, and we don't now. But given the impracticality of what they're seeking as resolution, to take back an innovation that helps their customers as much as ours, we have no choice but to respond in court.
So later this week, we're going to use our defensive portfolio to respond to Network Appliance, filing a comprehensive reciprocal suit. As a part of this suit, we are requesting a permanent injunction to remove all of their filer products from the marketplace, and are examining the original NFS license - on which Network Appliance was started. [...]
In addition to seeking the removal of their products from the marketplace, we will be going after sizable monetary damages. And I am committing that Sun will donate half of those proceeds to the leading institutions promoting free software and patent reform (in specific, The Software Freedom Law Center and the Peer to Patent initiative), and to the legal defense of free software innovators.
I really hope that Network Appliance will step back from their lawsuit. We need both companies. Only a healthy competition will drive innovation.