EMC drags Pure to court again, claims FlashArray rips off dedupe patent

Not so fast, upstart – get back here

First, EMC dealt Pure a $14m blow when a court ruled that Pure's FA-300/FA-400 arrays infringed one of EMC's patents.

Now the storage giant is suing Pure again – this time over the upstart's newer FlashArray//m systems, which also allegedly infringe the aforementioned data-reduction patent. EMC wants an injunction against its rival and damages.

A complaint, filed in the US state of Delaware, claims: "Pure Storage infringes EMC's United States Patent No. 7,434,015 ("the '015 patent"). The '015 patent ... relates to data deduplication." The filing continues:

For years, Pure Storage has incorporated data deduplication in its products that is covered by and infringes EMC's '015 patent.

EMC's lawsuit says the earlier damages award was only for sales of Pure Storage products from November 2013 to January 2016 and covered only a limited set of Pure Storage products: the FlashArray series 300 and 400 products.

The Dell-acquisition-target now alleges: "The FlashArray//m product contains deduplication technology that is materially the same as the technology already found to infringe the '015 patent."

There are four FlashArray//m products: //m10, //m20, //m50, and //m70. The EMC complaint claims: "On information and belief, FlashArray//m sales already exceed in volume the sales of the FlashArray 300 and 400 models already found to infringe the '015 patent."

Ergo the damages should be higher, according to EMC:

At a minimum, EMC is entitled to significant compensatory damages for these sales. Moreover, Pure Storage's infringement has been willful and deliberate, and EMC is entitled to additional remedies, including enhanced damages and attorneys' fees.

The complaint, submitted on Monday, says "Pure Storage has stated that it believes that it has alternative deduplication functionality that it may implement to try to avoid 'ongoing royalties.' As Pure Storage knows, however, its supposed alternative designs still infringe the '015 patent."

EMC demands a trial by jury on all issues triable by a panel of peers. ®

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