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Sun sues NetApp, California style

Six patents topped with a slice of avocado

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Sun Microsystems has spanked Network Appliance with another lawsuit, as relations between the two vendor continue to deteriorate at speed.

Just last week, Sun revealed a counter-suit to NetApp's Sept. lawsuit against Sun. NetApp thinks that Sun's Zettabyte File System (ZFS) infringes its patents, while Sun contends that most of NetApp's major products infringe its intellectual property.

The only real difference in the fresh lawsuit filed by Sun is that the legal battle takes place in a Northern California court. Sun has flagged six troublesome patents and sued NetApp over them in a Silicon Valley district court. NetApp picked the infamous patent troll haven of Eastern Texas as the venue for its original suit against Sun. Sun and NetApp are headquartered in Silicon Valley, just a few miles from each other.

The six patents Sun has cited relate to storage and networking technology. There's one for a "logical track write scheduling system for a parallel disk drive array data storage subsystem," and another for a "disk drive array memory system using nonuniform disk drives." There's also a patent related to "trunking Ethernet-compatible networks" and another for a "highly available cluster message passing facility." If you're brave enough to open a PDF, you can find the whole complaint here.

Along with keeping its IP away from NetApp, Sun also hopes to use this suit to consolidate the existing legal action back in a California court.

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz and NetApp co-founder Dave Hitz have been banging on about these lawsuits via their blogs. As we opined earlier, NetApp seems to be losing this largely dull propaganda war. ®

Register hack Ashlee Vance has just pumped out a new book that's a guide to Silicon Valley. The book starts with the electronics pioneers present in the Bay Area in the early 20th century and marches up to today's heavies. Want to know where Gordon Moore eats Chinese food, how unions affected the rise of microprocessors or how Fairchild Semiconductor got its start? This is the book for you - available at Amazon US here or in the UK here.

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