Feeds

Sun sues Azul, using Tremblay Gambit

Check Marc, Java boys

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Sun Microsystems has done the expected and countersued server appliance start-up Azul, and this time it's personal.

Broadly, Sun has charged Azul with patent infringement around the way its servers process Java software. Sun has paid particular attention to any of its patents that touch on "transactional memory" and "speculative locking technology" techniques. In addition, Sun has brought up problems it has with Azul CEO and former Sun executive Stephen DeWitt.

We did a bit of digging through Sun's claim and discovered that chip engineer Marc Tremblay seems at the heart of this squabble. Tremblay is a Sun Fellow, and his name appears on all of the patents mentioned by Sun in its lawsuit.

Azul earlier this year filed a lawsuit against Sun, claiming the large server maker was bullying the start-up. Sun had made unreasonable licensing requests and then threatened to sue Azul, according to the company's complaint. CEO Stephen DeWitt backed up these sentiments in an interview at the time, saying that Azul had no choice but to strike first in this battle.

This time around, Sun has aimed right at DeWitt.

DeWitt came to Sun after it acquired his company Cobalt Networks for $2bn in 2000. According to Sun, a non-compete clause signed by DeWitt – that granted him $100m in stock compensation – demanded that he stay at Sun until Dec. of 2002. Instead, Dewitt began talks with Azul in June of 2002 and became CEO in Oct., Sun said.

In addition, Azul hired numerous Sun staffers who also had some non-compete restrictions or knowledge of Sun's confidential plans, the company alleges.

Sun would like to see a court stop Azul from selling its Java server appliances and award damages.

This case has become quite the hot topic in Silicon Valley due to the personalities and circumstances at play. There's no question that Sun Chairman Scott McNealy and Azul CEO DeWitt have little fondness for each other. The rumor mill has even gone so far as to suggest that these lawsuits are the result of a fight the two executives' kids had at an ice hockey game, although well placed sources say that's certainly not the case.

Without question, DeWitt's leaving Sun after having received the insane sum of $2bn for Cobalt only to lead a server maker using multi-core chips to crank through Java has left a bitter taste in the Sun camp's mouth. Sun has its own multi-core dynamos, invented Java and intends to make the most money off servers running the software. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS
Trio of XSS turns attackers into admins
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.