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Storage: NetApp sues Sun sues NetApp; CEO's wage war via blogs

And HP and IBM are busy deploying storage in the meantime...

On the practical front, the executive disclosures seem to have brought us no closer to the truth. Hitz has backed up claims that Sun's Zettabyte File System (ZFS) infringes on NetApp patents. In addition, he's effectively painted Sun as a type of patent bully that tries to pump money out of rivals by abusing its IP portfolio. Meanwhile, Schwartz has delivered a solid time line of events that seems to prove NetApp actually led the bullying. And, of course, Schwartz stands by Sun's claims not only that ZFS does not violate NetApp patents but also that NetApp's most popular software violates Sun patents.

The executive spew - and we believe it's the first of its kind - simply mimics the turgid filings of lawyers in these types of arguments but with a bit more colorful language.

Given that the blogging back-and-forth adds no muscle to the actual dispute between the companies, we're surprised that Hitz has chosen to continue on this quest given the obvious public relations disaster that NetApp faces.

NetApp wants to win this case, so it filed the original lawsuit in the IP troll-friendly courts of the Eastern District of Texas. Right away, that puts NetApp's claims in a negative light. Why rumble in a suspect Texas court when the two companies involved are located just a few miles from each other in Northern California? If you're a practical, business-minded type, you can't fault NetApp for its court selection. Still, the choice smacks of NetApp desiring bias rather than objectivity to judge its claims.

Then you have Sun playing the open source card against NetApp's proprietary code stance.

As Hitz rightly argues, there's no reason to give Sun any credit for citing that ZFS has been open sourced if Sun is in fact stealing NetApps' intellectual property. But Hitz seems to ignore how virulent and vocal the open source "community" can be.

Just compare the comments sections from the executives' respective blogs - Hitz vs. Schwartz - and you'll find far more people siding with Schwartz. The Sun CEO is championed as an open source hero, while Hitz receives comments such as "Letter to NetApp employees: Don't work for this idiot."


I can understand and do sincerely respect Sun's commitment to Open Source. Jonathan has been long waging this war to bring this baby up front, but still that does not really explain for flatter and flatter revenues.

Anyways, see the rest here.

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