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NetApp Hits Sun With Patent Infringement Lawsuit

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the don't-take-the-law-into-your-own-hands dept.

Sun Microsystems 217

jcatcw writes "Computerworld reports, "Network Appliance Inc. today announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Sun Microsystems Inc. seeking unspecified compensatory damages and an injunction that would prohibit Sun from developing or distributing products based on its ZFS file system technology. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Lufkin, Texas, charges that the Sun ZFS technology infringes on seven NetApp patents pertaining to data processing systems and related software.""

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Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488683)

How does the patent in this case "promote the useful arts and sciences." Patents don't do anything to benefit the public. Patents were fine in an era before the need for capital became its own barrier to entry in a given market, but, any more, they are not only a relic, but a dangerous, anti-competitive one. Would it be a troll to say anyone who is in favor of patents is really in favor of oligarchy?

Arguing about patents won't change them (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488769)

any more than complaining about gravity will make it go away. We have a broken patent system which is driven by the practitioners of the patent system for the benefit of those practitioners. In other words, those who have the power to change the system are the most likely to lose from any changes so there is very little motiovation to make any changes. We could go on about how bad the system is, but that is irrelevant in the courts. That a law is stupid is unfortunately not a valid defence.

The only thing that matters here is whether prior art can be forund for WAFL.

Re:Arguing about patents won't change them (5, Insightful)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490343)

The day gravity is an artificial man-made creation, something that is fully within man's ability to "make go away," your statement will be fine. For now, though, our control over Gravity is quite limited, whereas sufficiently well-placed discussions could in fact change the patent system. Perhaps not arguing about it on /. alone, no, but if you can bring the issue to the general (less-educated) public's attention, you may very well change it through discussion. The current problem with fixing the patent system is, almost in its entirety, the sheer lack of discussion.

Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (5, Informative)

MikePlacid (512819) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489075)

Here is the original complaint (PDF): http://www.netapp.com/go/ipsuit/spider-complaint.p df [netapp.com] .
And here is NetApp's boss blog: http://blogs.netapp.com/dave/ [netapp.com] (quoted below):

This morning, NetApp filed an IP (intellectual property) lawsuit against Sun. It has two parts. The first is a "declaratory judgment", asking the court to decide whether we infringe a set of patents that Sun claims we do. The second says that Sun infringes several of our patents with its ZFS technology.

How did we get here?

Like many large technology companies, Sun has been using its patent portfolio as a profit center. About 18 months ago, Sun's lawyers contacted NetApp with a list of patents they say we infringe, and requested that we pay them lots of money. We responded in two ways. First, we closely examined their list of patents. Second, we identified the patents in our portfolio that we believe Sun infringes.

With respect to Sun's patent claims, our lawsuit explains that we do not infringe, and - in fact - that they are not even valid. As a result, we don't think we should be paying Sun millions of dollars.

On the flip side, our suit points out that Sun's ZFS appears to infringe several of NetApp's WAFL patents. It looks like ZFS was a conscious reimplementation of our WAFL filesystem, with little regard to intellectual property rights. Here's what creators of ZFS have to say: "The file system that has come closest to our design principles, other than ZFS itself, is WAFL ... the first commercial file system to use the copy-on-write tree of blocks approach to file system consistency." One of the first patents I filed at NetApp describes this "copy-on-write tree of blocks" technique in detail.

We filed suit against Sun because after we pointed out the WAFL patents, their lawyers stopped getting back to us. The first part of our suit is a declaratory judgment. It's complicated, but the basic idea is that Sun claims we infringe their patents, so we are requesting a trial to show that's not true. In essence, a declaratory judgment calls their bluff. It allows us to force a legal conclusion, rather than leaving this threat hanging over our heads. The second part is a complaint against Sun for infringing several WAFL patents with ZFS.

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489337)

The solution is simple. Immediately invalidate all software patents. Get rid of them completely. Hence, no need for these ludicrous portfolios, filled largely by absolutely useless patents.

The only people that get hurt is the consumer, who has to pay all these pathetic lawyers and their pathetic clients gazillions, either in protection money against this racket, or in court battles over ridiculous things like linked-list file systems and outrageously vague one-click patents.

The system is broke, and the way to fix it is to completely eliminate the problem.

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490573)

I'll just get out my magic wand shall I?

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (2, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489509)

Its interesting to read one of his other blog postings [netapp.com] that he points out in this blog posting about how he thinks the patent system is broken, and its main goal is to force everyone to cross license patents...

But I'm torn.. I've been looking at NAS,SAN boxes, mainly the StoreVault S500, or the Higher End Netapp 270, or a lower end Sun StorageTech 52xx for my work.. I hate patents, love ZFS, but not sure which one to order now! Guess I'll have to give Equallogic another call..

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (4, Informative)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489701)

We recently began a deployment of a couple of NetApp filers, the 2040 and 3040 ranges. They are mighty great to work with from my experience so far. The software is very easy to use and understand and NetApp support has been stellar thus far. They move a lost faster than EMC from the looks although EMC's storage offerings are mighty impressive as well.

Storage is a rough business but the SAN I'm deploying this year paves the way for virtualized servers next year which I'm excited about. With VMWare's ACE I'm not even sure Tripwire is needed anymore.

Also it seems as though NetApp was rather nice about this whole patent thing from the get go. It wasn't until Sun threatened them that they acted and again acted fairly preferring a cross licensing deal rather than any cash payout in either direction.

Sun support in my experience has been a pain in the ass. I remember trying to modify the startup resolution on a box since I didn't have a Sun monitor or keyboard. They would not help me over the phone since it was a none Sun keyboard even though they had no problem with a non-Sun monitor. I did a key mash to figure out the stop key on boot to get me in. That was the last time I played with anything from Sun. That was about 4 years ago. Mileage may vary but I've not heard anything positive more recently. I am a fan of ZFS though, I wish it weren't mired in this crap but Sun started the fight and attacked a gorilla. The reaction had to be expected.

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (1, Redundant)

rossifer (581396) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490079)

Here's another vote for NetApp. They're expensive, but they just work. Their support is excellent as well. We had multiple incidents over four years and they were simply on top of the situation, helping us resolve problems that almost always turned out to be because of things we'd done to the system.

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (5, Insightful)

Bakafish (114674) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490725)

Also it seems as though NetApp was rather nice about this whole patent thing from the get go. It wasn't until Sun threatened them that they acted and again acted fairly preferring a cross licensing deal rather than any cash payout in either direction.


It's a nice story, but Sun is claiming the exact opposite actually happened, with NetApp trying to extort them over ZFS first. On a purely intuitive basis I'd say that sounds more reasonable, NetApp has much more to fear from ZFS than Sun had to gain by trying to extort some licensing fees.

Re:Original PDF and NetApp's explanation (2, Informative)

Guy Harris (3803) | more than 7 years ago | (#20491031)

And here is NetApp's boss blog

Dave's one of the founders, but he's not the CEO or president, he's an executive vice president, as per the NetApp executive biographies page [netapp.com] .

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (2, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489127)

I don't have a very high opinion of software patents, but I have to play devil's advocate and ask, are software patents in general beneficial while we only hear of exceptions where things go very wrong? How would one go about seriously answering this question, anyway?

No good way to opt-out. (2, Informative)

MikePlacid (512819) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489189)

Again, from NetApp's boss blog: http://blogs.netapp.com/dave/2007/06/how_the_paten t_.html [netapp.com] (I really like this guy, having read 2 articles):

Don't patents ever protect your good ideas?! In theory, they should, but in practice it doesn't usually work that way. Suppose your small company wants to protect its ideas against a big company. Filing suit will accelerate the cross-licensing negotiation, and you'll probably end up paying. Better to let sleeping dogs lie. Patent battles between small companies work poorly because they are so expensive and take so long. Better to fight it out in the marketplace. Big companies suing small companies have a harder time than you'd imagine, because the courts recognize that an incorrect decision, especially against a startup, can cause irreversible damage. Courts are reluctant to impose injunctions, even if the patents really do apply. In the case of two big companies, both almost always violate each other's patents, so they end up cross licensing. (I'm not saying that patents never help to protect good ideas. If someone steals your patented idea, it's perfectly reasonable to go after them. I'm just saying that it seldom works out as well as you might hope.)

I know that some people are so frustrated with the patent system that they want nothing to do with it. The problem is, there's no good way to opt-out.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489289)

are software patents in general beneficial while we only hear of exceptions where things go very wrong?
it depends on how they are used, in this case they're being used against their original purpose. instead of giving a company a small advantage in their market to encourage future research they're being used as M.A.D weapons. useful innovative combinations of software/code never get to be used because it's infringing on someone's copyright. patents are instead supposed to prevent one person/company from leeching off another's work, not destroying anything that challenges that work in the market.

How would one go about seriously answering this question, anyway?
do a series of studies on the effects of different laws in different countries to determine which causes the most research/market growth. whatever does the best over a series of years wins in theory. now all that needs to be done is to do the studies, analyze the data and finally enforce the most effective laws which is getting harder with bs from microsoft and other patent trolls around...

Patents: Recoup investment (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489207)

tjstork wrote: Patents don't do anything to benefit the public. Patents were fine in an era before the need for capital became its own barrier to entry in a given market, but, any more, they are not only a relic, but a dangerous, anti-competitive one. Would it be a troll to say anyone who is in favor of patents is really in favor of oligarchy?


Patents are a mechanism for recouping an investment into research, which may or may not pay off. For example, prior to the successful invention, an inventor may have ten or hundreds of failures, each of which cost time and money. Inventors may have borrowed money to fund research, in which case the lender of the money will be expecting that money back (plus interest). It would be unfair to the inventor if he received ZERO reimbursement for a successful invention while others, such as manufacturers, simply plundered his work.

The current implementation of the patent system in the United States is definitely in need of an overhaul, but the idea of patents in general is still a good one. I would propose a system whereby an individual or corporation could apply for a certain number of patents per year at a certain fee. If the individual/corporation applies for more patents within the year, then the fee would increase for each extra application.

Re:Patents: Recoup investment (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489397)

The current implementation of the patent system in the United States is definitely in need of an overhaul, but the idea of patents in general is still a good one. I would propose a system whereby an individual or corporation could apply for a certain number of patents per year at a certain fee. If the individual/corporation applies for more patents within the year, then the fee would increase for each extra application.


I would also add that if it is discovered that there was obvious prior art, that the company be forced to pay back every nickel of licensing plus interest that they got off of other companies, and be banned for ten years from applying for patents. If they are discovered using third parties to try to sneak further patents past during this period, then they, the third party, and any company on which a board member or executive sits is forever banned from applying for patents.

Something seriously needs to be done to end patent trolls and patent squatters, and that seems the best way.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489445)

I wonder who modded you troll?

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489553)

Do you?

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (2)

71thumper (107491) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489469)

So you'd prefer the model where you come up with a cool idea, develop it, go to sell it, and then a big company can just hire 200 people to replicate it and sell it for near peanuts and you end up getting nothing for your work?

Sorry. Patents are good things. Without patents, he who has money rules the world forever.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (2, Insightful)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489735)

As opposed to the situation now? He who has the money makes the rules, that's the system we currently use. Those with the most money have the most patents and can sue anyone into oblivion. Surely there has to be some middle ground here.

They can do that now! (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490077)

That's the whole point. If I invent a product, chances are, in order to really get it out, I will probably wind up infringing on someone else's patent in order to get a complete solution.

For example, let's say I have a revolutionary new programming language. Great stuff, but, ultimately, it will need a bunch of existing technologies to make it work. I'll need parse trees, string manipulations, code generation, and hey, why not an IDE, all of which are covered by a bazillion patents already.

So, if I bring my product to market, the best I can possibly hope for is a cross licensing agreement with a major player, and that in turn, means they can crush me. Or, they can work around my patent in some way, still get the feature, and crush me. Patents don't protect ideas, unless you have a lot of very good patent attorneys and those cost big bucks.

In the world of machines, this doesn't happen. If I invent a new kind of a screw, its pretty obvious that the screw is a patentable thing. But software doesn't exist at that level of componentry and most likely never will. It simply can't. Software wants to integrate and to some extent, that makes it unique from the physical world. You don't need to integrate a particular kind of screw into every single socket and with every single tool, but ultimately, with software, you do wind up having to talk to every kind of protocol, database, and GUI, and in doing so, you wind up flying into a hailstorm of patents.

Seriously, when's the last time anyone has actually checked to see if they infringe before they write something? Only a big company can really afford to do it. Face it, the idea of a little guy with a software patent is a myth, 95% of the time, and its simply not worth the cost to the rest of us - even if we work in a big corporation.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (4, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489795)

Patents aren't the problem. Software and Business Method patents are. To fix the patent system:
  1. No more business method or software patents. Physical systems only.
  2. Anything you patent, you must come up with a prototype or model within a reasonable amount of time. No working model or currently achievable design, no patent.

If you can't create the model or design, or come up with a means to do so, too bad, no patent. Ideas are simple. Making something of them is what patents are supposed to protect.

Software is not a physical thing. Why a need to patent? You really shouldn't be able to patent math or the way that you apply it. Copyright, sure, but not patent.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (2, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490745)

Ideas are simple. Making something of them is what patents are supposed to protect.

I'm not so sure that's true. What about the brilliant inventor who comes up with a very complicated system but has no capital with which to finance a prototype? Seems to me that patents would come in pretty handy in such a situation. Sans patent, you could spend five years searching around for independent financing while GE, which got wind of your idea somehow, has been working on developing it and refining it. Given five years' lead time, GE manages to make one or two substantial improvements on your invention, which it then turns around and patents. Sound fair?

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489859)

Well, NetApp is pissed that someone like Sun would use a similar function to their "snapshots", as ZFS allows for a very similar snapshot backup to be made as the built in "snapshots" that NetApp has in their NAS storage hardware. However, I don't know how a patent could have been given for such a process, as "diff" and "patch" files have existed LONG before NetApp. It was only obvious before someone merged that functionality into a filesystem, and had the filesystem keep the diff and patch the file on the fly from an old version to a new one depending on what you wanted to look at.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490057)

How does the patent in this case "promote the useful arts and sciences."
Actually, I see NetApp as a great example of how patents on software can be useful. They developed some very unique ways of managing network-accessible data, and improved on the state of the art dramatically. Had the duration of their patents been reasonable for the industry (typically this means about 3-4x the period that it takes to get an idea developed and brought to market), then there would be no problem. The fact of the matter is that NetApp got those patents forever ago in this industry's timeline, and really should not be controlling a monopoly interest in those technologies any longer. They should have been made to go out and innovate again and again to maintain their position.

Re:Once again, the Patent Question to ask is... (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490959)

I generally think patents are overused, but I do think there is a place for them. I work for a company whose major asset is IP we've spent five years and millions of dollars developing. When we're done developing the technology, one of our sources of revenue will be licensing the tech to (much larger) companies that can build commercial products with it. Without patent protection, thee companies could just wait while we take the risk to develop the tech, then use it for free.

Companies like Rambus have given IP companies a bad name, but there is a legitimate place for them. Getting continued support for a risky R&D project at a large company can be difficult. At the same time, in some industries, little companies don't have the resources to effectively commercialize the technology they develop. Consider companies like MIPS and ARM. They license IP cores to bigger companies like TI that have the extensive resources necessary to fab microprocessors. TI et-al get CPU-design specialists to develop cores, and MIPS and ARM don't have to worry about running a non-core fab business. Patents facilitate this. Why should such working arrangements be dismantled because patents are being abused in other areas?

Second Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488685)

Second post! Third? Come on!

Re:Second Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488913)

Thy time is truly past, fell troll. The dominion of men has come!

I'm kind of glad that Linux uses XFS, JFS and more (0, Troll)

rootus-rootus (151960) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488691)

This kind of thing should have been anticipated. Software patents are Evil. At least Linux won't be impacted.

Re:I'm kind of glad that Linux uses XFS, JFS and m (4, Insightful)

corychristison (951993) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488761)

At least Linux won't be impacted.
That is not entirely true. ZFS is available via FUSE [sourceforge.net] . Some users do use it for some things. I really makes backup, etc. very easy. I, personally, haven't had a chance to try it out or anything, but I really would like to.

It would be a damn shame if development on it were halted because of silly patents. :-)

Re:I'm kind of glad that Linux uses XFS, JFS and m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20490351)

Development will continue outside of the US (and UK likely).

It's sad, but it seems that we are well on our way on moving the first world down to second.

Linux is impacted, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488907)

...it loses the chance to get an awesome FS.

ZFS beats the hell out of EXT3:

http://www.sun.com/software/whitepapers/solaris10/ zfs_linux.pdf [sun.com]

Re:Linux is impacted, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488959)

That's what everybody says.... until they try to use it to serve anything over Samba or NFS. Just google zfs nfs for some horror stories. Bottom line is, ZFS is not ready for real world adoption.

Re:Linux is impacted, because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489105)

"Just google zfs nfs for some horror stories."

I bet you get horror stories if you google for cute puppies and nfs (or worse, CIFs) as well.

Use it with web or app services and it's awesome.

Re:Linux is impacted, because... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489355)

"That's what everybody says.... until they try to use it to serve anything over Samba or NFS. Just google zfs nfs for some horror stories. Bottom line is, ZFS is not ready for real world adoption."

I disagree.

I have a multi-terabyte raidz in production, sharing out via Samba and NFS, and the only hassle I have had is with Samba's current lack of support for ZFS ACLs. Not being able to mangle permissions with Explorer is a small price to pay for my automatic rolling snapshots (do you like going to tape for a deleted file?), and cloning ability to test a script on the "real thing".

Samba clients are a few Citrix servers ranging from 20 to 40 concurrent users each with the vast majority of their data coming from said server, and about 30 to 40 individual workstations.

NFS clients are Solaris and Linux, with about a dozen machines pulling /home/*. Notably, I also have one Linux server running VMware, with one VM's vmdks coming from the Solaris NFS server over a 1Gb link. The VM is fairly lightweight, but it does run well.

I will admit to being somewhat leery when first migrating to ZFS from my previous solution, but have been using it in production as stated above since about January 2007 and have had no headaches.

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489069)

...it loses the chance to get an awesome FS in the US.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489145)

So the US is the only place we need to respect the GPL? Sweet!

Re:I'm kind of glad that Linux uses XFS, JFS and m (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489261)

Not true. JFS and XFS most likely infringe on NetApp patents as well. And Hans Reiser killed his wife.

Re:I'm kind of glad that Linux uses XFS, JFS and m (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489511)

This kind of thing should have been anticipated. Software patents are Evil. At least Linux won't be impacted.
I wonder what sort of person modded you down.

You got patents? We got patents too! (4, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488715)

the lawsuit was filed largely because Sun 18 months ago "aggressively demanded" cross-licensing fees related to the Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL) file-system technology included in ZFS. Hitz said the cross-licensing talks were halted in April after Sun claimed that NetApp's use of WAFL infringed on Sun patents.
You got gun? I got gun too! Maybe I come round your place with my friends, shoot it up a bit.

How you like that?

Re:You got patents? We got patents too! (1)

canistel (1103079) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488803)

I think it's probably more a case of "what you don't protect, you lose"... a sign of problematic patent system

Re:You got patents? We got patents too! (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488835)

You don't lose patents (or copyrights) for failure to enforce them -- that's trademarks you're thinking of there (and trade secrets, but in a different way).

See, this is one of the things that's annoying about the term "intellectual property" -- it leads to people getting confused about what's what. Patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets are all very different things, and have very different rules that apply.

Re:You got patents? We got patents too! (1)

AlexBirch (1137019) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489743)

You're right about most patents not being lost. However, with submarine patents [wikipedia.org] the US District Court for Nevada dismissed the patents.

Jerome H. Lemelson [slashdot.org] filed many applications that became submarine patents. He and his heirs have collected over 1.3 billion dollars (U.S.) in royalties [slashdot.org] . Many of these patents, covering machine vision [slashdot.org] and bar codes [slashdot.org] , were struck down in January 2004 [slashdot.org] by the federal district court [slashdot.org] in Las Vegas, Nevada [slashdot.org] :

At a minimum, Lemelson's delay in securing the asserted claims amounts to culpable neglect as he ignored the duty to claim his invention properly.... If the defense of prosecution laches [slashdot.org] does not apply under the totality of circumstances presented here, the Court can envision very few circumstances under which it could.... In sum, Lemelson's delay in securing the asserted patent claims is unexplained and unreasonable.

Re:You got patents? We got patents too! (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490261)

(Might want to check your links in the future -- they're mostly bad. Doesn't matter so much in this case, though -- I remember Laches from my business law classes [IANAL, but I kept West's Business Law next to my bed in college], and Lemelson from various reading elsewhere).

"Dismissed the patent", or dismissed any ability to enforce the patent after waiting until the defendants are more liable than they would have been had the Lemelson Foundation acted promptly? There's a big difference here, inasmuch as the patent is still valid -- just not enforceable with respect to a significant class of defendants. (Anyone just now starting to infringe, for instance, would not necessarily protected by this defense -- as there existed no significant period in the past during which the patent holder could have attempted to mitigate damages by putting them on notice of the patent).

More to the point, simply putting a potential defendant on notice that one believes they may infringe a patent (and that prosecution may follow at some point in the future) would make it harder for Laches to apply -- the defendant would have opportunity after that point to reduce their dependency on the infringed technology, license it or take some other corrective action.

In Lemelson's case there were other defenses -- lack of enablement, etc. -- which went directly to the patents' validity, so I'm not arguing that the Lemelson patents could today actually be enforced against anyone; I'm instead arguing that claiming that the doctrine of Laches effectively constitutes a "use-it-or-lose-it" rule for patents, except in cases of unreasonable delay specific to the individual defendant.

ComputerWorld Story Placement (1, Interesting)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488745)

Have a look at jcatcw's 100% accepted articles: Yet another ComputerWorld Whore shilling ComputerWorld trip on Slashdot. Does ComputerWorld have some sort of arrangement?

Re:ComputerWorld Story Placement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488857)

(rejected submissions are not listed)

Re:ComputerWorld Story Placement (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488909)

Well. I guess you're right on that one. But it's a heck of a lot of stories, and actually there are more than just a few ComputerWorld shills tending gardens at Slashdot...

Re:ComputerWorld Story Placement (1, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488931)

Yes, she doesn't like lowly Slashdot users sticking their noses into the Story Acceptance process:

Firehose: misplaced democracy or no democracy at all?

By Joyce Carpenter

Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters. Or so it says. Recently Slashdot implemented a system that apparently allows users to vote on which news and stuff they'd like to see on the homepage. The feature is called Firehose.

It's a bad metaphor and a bad idea.

When I (Slashdot nickname: jcatcw) first discovered /., it was a site for science & technology stories submitted by the community and selected by the editors. Early on, when I got a story accepted, the response from the dotters was so great that it crashed our site. That might sound bad, but we can buy more servers (in fact, we have).

Re:ComputerWorld Story Placement (2, Insightful)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489333)

Normally, I would jump on the editor(s) more than the submitter. If a submitter's is *less* interested in getting stories of interest to the community posted and more interested in pulling traffic to their site, then it is the editor's job to recognise this over time and take it into account in their decision. IMHO, anyway.

But in this case, Carpenter has decided to preach about the submission system. She has a conflict on interest in this regard - she wants fewer people to have a say in whether her story is accepted yet doesn't declare her posting motivations. So fsck her - she's not being straight up in about her own motives when she questions those of others. She says:

All it takes to vote is a user account with a valid email. How many of the new account holders are part of viral marketing scams? There are probably people there now who are being paid for submissions or for votes.

Yeah, probably there are people being paid Joyce. Ya figure? How 'bout a statement on *your* motivations?

Her full comment is at the URL below. Be aware that you're generating ad revenue going there ...

http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/5550 [computerworld.com]

IDG Playing Slashdot (0, Offtopic)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489557)

On close examination IDG, which owns a number of domains and "magazines" gets quite a bit of exposure this way at Slashdot. I don't think Slashdot "supports" this, I don't think its "editors" are smart enough to pick up on it. But Slashdot is clearly being "played" for financial gain by IDG and its stable of "bloggers" and other content authors.

Take this guy for example: narramissic [slashdot.org] . He shills for "itworld.com", another IDG property (besides ComputerWorld)

The truth is that ITWorld and ComputerWorld rarely have the best or even complete articles on whatever the subject is, they are simply vehicles to sell advertising.

Re:ComputerWorld Story Placement (1)

nrgy (835451) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488889)

Well when you work for ComputerWorld blog [computerworld.com] what more do you expect?

I think its a tad lame someone who works for a company can have so many articles approved. She's earning her pay for ComputerWorld thats for sure.

Re:ComputerWorld Story Placement (1)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490727)

Since Slashdot always has affiliate links to Barnes and Noble even though the Amazon prices are almost always lower, I would be more surprised if they aren't getting kickbacks from ComputerWorld. Slashvertisements aren't so uncommon.

Bloggers paid based on traffic (2, Insightful)

winkydink (650484) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488919)

I don't blame them, really. If you are a professionnal blogger (read former print journalist) the more traffic you can generate for your site, the more you make. Get it posted on /. or digg or wherever and watch the traffic flow.

Re:Bloggers paid based on traffic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488991)

No kidding. Submitting stroies to Slashdot is apparently part of more than several people at ComputerWorld. What's good for Roland looks a lot better for ComputerWorld!

HIT THIS NETAPP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488755)

(_._)

sun catches unprecedented evile off guard (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488799)

kind of vaporizing the phoney clouds now. it must be really warm out.

sun's newclear power repels unprecedented evile
(Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 04, @08:20AM (#20462703)
it's both a fairytail & whoreabull malady @once?

previously (dis)allowed post(s):

many of US never look up (or ever really see anything)
(Score:?)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 03, @09:34PM
too busy getting somewhere? we could still afford to pay attention, as it is cost effective, & time efficient.

it's not as though we weren't already being treated to more misinformation than we could ever disbelieve.

infactdead corepirate nazis still WAY off track
(Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 01, @09:35AM (#20433195)
it's only a matter of time/space/circumstance.

previous post:
mynuts won 'off t(r)opic'???
(Score:-1, Offtopic)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 30, @10:22AM (#20411119)
eye gas you could call this 'weather'?

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8004881114 [google.com] 646406827 [google.com]

be careful, the whack(off)job in the next compartment may be a high RANKing corepirate nazi official.

previous post:
whoreabull corepirate nazi felons planning trips
(Score: mynuts won, robbIE's 'secret' censorship score)
by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, @12:13PM (#20072457)
in orbit perhaps? we wouldn't want to be within 500 miles of the naykid furor at this power point.

better days ahead?

as in payper liesense hypenosys stock markup FraUD felons are on their way out? what a revolutionary concept.

from previous post: many demand nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the ife0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

A better article... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488825)

...appears on The Register. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/09/05/netapp_sue s_sun_over_zfs/ [theregister.co.uk]

This actually mentions the specific technologies NetApp is alleging are infringed, and contains a link to the actual complaint, which lists the details of NetApp's allegations.

Cursory reading suggests these are somewhat reasonable patents--they solve non-obvious critical issues in terms of having data synchronized across multiple images. We're not talking about "One-Click Ordering" here.

That said, they filed in East Texas, which is a notorious district for patent trolling, which doesn't help them appear on the side of the angels IMO.

Re:A better article... (0, Troll)

h8sg8s (559966) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488963)

Yep. And Sun looks to be cleaning NetApp's clock with their new filers so it's looking a lot like they're just trying to slow Sun down. It's a shame, Netapp used to be such a *nice* company to deal with - I guess when your profits tank you tend to go for the throat.

Great quotes from the Reg article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488977)

"NetApp was further nettled when Sun took the file system open source."

Yeah, Sun just about called NetApp patent trolls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489123)

NetApp's legal attack against Sun's open source ZFS solution which is freely available in the marketplace is a clear indication that NetApp considers Sun technology a threat, and is a direct attack on the open source community. ZFS is the fastest growing storage virtualization technology in the marketplace, and NetApp's attempt to use patent litigation to inhibit the meteoric rise of open source technologies like ZFS is tantamount to being unhappy with gravity. As Sun knows well, and NetApps' customers obviously recognize, innovation works better than litigation.

Many of the claims raised in the lawsuit are factually untrue. For example, it was NetApp who first approached Sun seeking to acquire the Sun patents NetApp is now attempting to invalidate. It is unfortunate that NetApp has now resorted to resolving its business issues in a legal jurisdiction (East Texas) long favored by 'patent trolls.'

Bottom line, Sun indemnifies its customers, and stands behind the innovations we deliver to the marketplace.
Damn if that doesn't sound like Sun can back their claims up:

For example, it was NetApp who first approached Sun seeking to acquire the Sun patents NetApp is now attempting to invalidate.
Hmm, if that's true, Sun will have the docs proving it.

huh? (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489747)

I am sorry, but there is no such thing as a reasonable 'software' patent. No software should have ever been offered this protection.

Copyrights, are enough. And even copyrights don't need to be life + 70 years.

This is insane.

Patents really should be limited to things like the Cotton Gin, or steam engine thrust arms. And , I think the patent office should go back to demanding scale models of those things.

Ugh

NetApp is hella expensive (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488839)

I priced a 8.5 Terabyte NetApp dual filer 2050 with FC license vs. a 9TB Sun 6140 vs. a dual controller with an added snapshot license about a month ago, the 2050 was $118,000, the 6140 was $68,000. To make matters worse, the 6140 is a higher end 4GB FC throughout system, the 2050 really competes against the Sun 2140 which are both SAS internal and 4GB FC external. HP EVA 6100 is probably even less! (though I didn't price it)

Unless you're making a lot of little flexvols for a bunch of apps, or looking for an easy tiered solution, NetApp ain't worth it.

Re:NetApp is hella expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489013)

Hey you get what you paid for, the $118 was list price, or a very small discount.

What does "Higher end 4GB FC" isn't fibre channel a standard????

The 6140 has no concept of RAID 6 (double disk failure).
It can only do a maximum of 512 Snapshots, and the Snapshots are Copy On Write... What does that mean boys and girls... After the first snapshot the systems slows down becuase it has to move blocks (to save them) before it writes new blocks..

And isn't this the old re-wrapped STK/LSI engenio teechnology.. so that makes it re-re-wrapped? Good luck with getting RDAC workin. that the MPIO driver you have to use with LSI/STK/SUN.

Wow who do you call when you have a problem..??

Sure save money and put Ghetto RAID in for your production Apps...Not me..

Re:NetApp is hella expensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489301)

> "What does "Higher end 4GB FC" isn't fibre channel a standard????"

6140 is 4GB to the disk. 2050 uses SAS drives and bridges to 4GB FC (same with Sun 2140). Also, 6140 can have dual RAID controllers with 1-2GB cache each (4-8GB total). I believe the 2050 only comes with a max of 1GB NVRAM, which is a single point of failure unless you get another filer, and filers are more expensive than RAID cards.

> "The 6140 has no concept of RAID 6 (double disk failure)."

You could always use ZFS for DP ;>

> "Wow who do you call when you have a problem..??"

1-800-USA-4-SUN, get Sun branded QLogics as well and you don't have to call anybody else except your app supplier when you have a problem.

Buh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489737)

What the heck does NetApp's pricing have to do with anything remotely related to the article. This gets +2 Interesting? We out of Off-Topic?

Re:Buh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20490053)

ZFS is free, WAFL costs money (you cant get it without overpriced NetApp hardware), NetApp cant compete with opensource so they litigate. It has everything to do with it

Re:NetApp is hella expensive (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489781)

That's interesting because our 2040 filers cost about that and came with 30TB of online capacity. Did you price the whole deal with SAS drives or something? I split it up and have some SAS drives for high speed front-end storage and the rest are 750gig SATA for archiving.

Sounds like the article misrepresents the facts... (4, Insightful)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488915)

Dave Hitz, NetApps's founder and executive vice president, said the lawsuit was filed largely because Sun 18 months ago "aggressively demanded" cross-licensing fees related to the Write Anywhere File Layout (WAFL) file-system technology included in ZFS. Hitz said the cross-licensing talks were halted in April after Sun claimed that NetApp's use of WAFL infringed on Sun patents.
Demanded cross-licensing fees? What does that even mean? Licensing fees perhaps, but it seems like Sun was after a cross-licensing agreement; not seeking to drag NetApp into court like some patent troll.

It sounds more like both Sun and NetApp are infringing on each others patents, and Sun simply wanted to formally resolve this in order to be on the safe side. This article seems awfully one-sided though, and the way the quote is paraphrased, it looks like the author is more interested in dragging Sun's name through the mud than presenting the facts.

NetApp's founder explain cross-licensing fees (1)

MikePlacid (512819) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489311)

Yes, cross-licensing fees: your money plus access to your patent portfolio.

http://blogs.netapp.com/dave/2007/06/how_the_paten t_.html [netapp.com]

BigCo wants your money, but also access to your patents, so the cross-licensing negotiation begins. You try to identify patents that cover their products, and they try to identify patents that cover yours. In the end, you balance how much of your revenue their patents cover, and how much of their revenue your patents cover. The little guy usually loses. Ironically, patents on your super-special technology often don't cover any of BigCo's products, so "miscellaneous" patents may be more important than the ones you thought were so valuable. BigCo has so many patents that it's hard to examine them all, so they will do a statistical analysis showing how many patents they have that might apply to you. Why not save the lawyers fees and just assume that some percentage does apply? (NetApp was in a cross-licensing negotiation with a large semiconductor company, and since we don't design or manufacture chips, we got them to remove those patents from their analysis.)

Re:NetApp's founder explain cross-licensing fees (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489375)

Translation: We're patent squatters who try to extort money from companies that actually do something useful.

You make me sick.

Re:NetApp's founder explain cross-licensing fees (1)

MLease (652529) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490335)

If I'm misreading you, sorry; but it appears that you are calling NetApp "patent squatters". They aren't; they really are producing useful products, and Sun apparently started this by trying to patent-bully them. NetApp's suit is a counterattack, not the first shot in the war. I interviewed with NetApp's local (Waltham, MA) office a year and a half ago, and was sorry not to get the job; I was excited by their product line and would have liked to have had a hand in it. I thought the interview had gone well, but either the competition was too tough or I blew it without knowing it. Oh, well.

-Mike

Re:Sounds like the article misrepresents the facts (1)

Courageous (228506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490237)

Demanded cross-licensing fees? What does that even mean? Licensing fees perhaps, but it seems like Sun was after a cross-licensing agreement; not seeking to drag NetApp into court like some patent troll.

Well. Not sure of the timeline of events, but the open sourcing of a cross licensed thing is often directly at odds with what the cross license is envisioned to do: create a cartel.

C//

Patent Pirate Venue - LUFKIN TX (4, Interesting)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 7 years ago | (#20488957)

I hope somehow that sanity prevails in the trial location. Network Applications Inc filed their case in Lufkin TX.

Lufkin is very long way from anywhere. I live in Dallas TX and Lufkin is a long 3hr 18m trip South and East from here. Yet Network Applications Inc is a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. Both Sun and Network Applications Inc are based in California.

Formerly the haven for patent pirates was Marshall TX. The same thing is probably going on in Lufkin TX.

Check out this article. "A Haven for Patent Pirates In one federal court in East Texas, plaintiffs have such an easy time winning patent-infringement lawsuits against big-tech companies that defendants often choose to settle rather than fight."
http://www.technologyreview.com/InfoTech-Software/ wtr_16280,300,p1.html?a=f [technologyreview.com]

May the company with the best case win,
Jim

Re:Patent Pirate Venue - LUFKIN TX (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489467)

NetApp is a real life company that sells products. Sun tried to patent-bully NetApp and NetApp found out it had patents of its own that Sun was infringing.

The Eastern District of Texas was a popular place for IP litigation because of its so-called "rocket docket" that accelerated trials and Patent Local Rules that forced disclosure of relevant information by both parties. Discovery in a patent case is an expensive enterprise. Not only do you have to prove conception of the invention, you have to disclose all design documents relating to the products you claim embody the invention, and financial records to establish a base for damages. The rocket docket and the Patent Rules were meant to speed things up. Discovery is given very liberally here. However, the plaintiff could prepare all he wants before filing suit, and then force the defendant into taking the discovery defensive. The defendant starts out in a hole and never recovers. The plaintiff can also accuse as many of the defendant's products of infringement and get discovery about those products. There are cases where nearly 2000 products have been accused of infringement. They can drop products later but you can't recoup your discovery expenses.

The Western District of Texas recently taken up Local Patent Rules modeled after Judge Ward's Eastern District model. I bet Lufkin is in the W.D. Tex.

Sigh. The side with the best attorney will win.

Re:Patent Pirate Venue - LUFKIN TX (1)

JavaManJim (946878) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489587)

You may be right on Lufkin being located within the Western District of Texas. Even though its actually deep in the Eastern piney woods of Texas. Reason is, sometimes in Texas, election districts are stretched so that narrow corridors link other areas (i.e. gerrymandering).

Just kidding of course,
Jim

Re:Patent Pirate Venue - LUFKIN TX (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490611)

Lufkin is in Angelina County and is part of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

founder of NetApp's opinion (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20488985)

The founder of NetApp has a weblog posting [netapp.com] on this:

This morning, NetApp filed an IP (intellectual property) lawsuit against Sun. It has two parts. The first is a "declaratory judgment", asking the court to decide whether we infringe a set of patents that Sun claims we do. The second says that Sun infringes several of our patents with its ZFS technology.

How did we get here?

Effect on FreeBSD? (1)

suranyip (25422) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489033)

I just started using ZFS in FreeBSD-CURRENT [freebsd.org] recently and have been quite impressed with it... Wonder how this will affect their inclusion of ZFS. (In case you want to try it, keep in mind that both the FreeBSD snapshot and ZFS on FreeBSD are experimental technologies, don't use them on production systems.)

Ancient ext3 history (3, Interesting)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489071)

I recall when early releases of ext3 appeared someone suggested NetApp might take issue with it due to IP. Daniel Phillips got rather heated about the matter. [kernel-traffic.org] Apparently NetApp didn't pursue anyone over it.

At least Sun has the means to defend itself.

I was wondering when this would happen. (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489169)

I kept considering implementing a WAFL-lite for Linux, but found the patents right away. Then along comes ZFS a few years later and it seemed like my problems were solved, someone else decided to take on the many patents around WAFL's good ideas. Saves me the lawyer fees that I cannot afford, although I would not have minded the publicity.

Apparently (1)

SQLz (564901) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489283)

NetApp invented the snapshot, what a crock of shit. SCO, part 2 the revenge.

Re:Apparently (2, Insightful)

tokki (604363) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489497)

To be fair, Sun did start the patent trolling.

Re:Apparently (1)

demi (17616) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489563)

Perhaps both sets of patents could be invalidated, then. I suspect very much that somewhere someone developed a database technology with copy-on-write with an advancing root block; I don't, however, have actual knowledge of that. It's just based on the pattern of database technology trickling down to filesystems and memory storage.

Snapshot-capable file systems invented by whom? (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489863)

I saw my very first implementation of a snapshot-capable filesystem in a NetApp filer way back in summer of 1996. That was eleven years ago. I'd never seen anything like it before in my I.T. career. If NetApp didn't invent it, then who did? Sun sure didn't have anything like that in 1996, they only had the plain old UFS and LVM's from DiskSuite and Veritas.

Re:Apparently (3, Informative)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489873)

Except that you are clearly ignorant about NetApp snapshots. They are very different from snapshots from other providers. I recently evaluated SANs from HP, EMC, and NetApp. NetApp was the most original and offered a lot of unique features including their snapshot technology. It's very non-obvious their implementation of it.

Here's a link to educate(PDF) [cosentry.com]

And another Bunch of white papers [zdnet.co.uk] explaining why Oracle went with NetApp storage. There is a similar list for GoDaddy

NetApp is not SCO, they are only acting because Sun threatened them. They are most innovative big company I've seen in recent years. Their WAFL implementation is pretty damned impressive especially when combined with Flexclone and their other Snapshot products.

hmmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489325)

If it were all for the benefit of the public, the Plaintiff in this case would simply sit down and shut up. We would have never heard of the wonderful benefits of ZFS had everything (allegedly) stayed with this company I have never heard of. Instead of bitching and whining and patent trolling [cough]SCO[cough], they could work with Sun to better ZFS (if that's even possible) and let Sun sell the hell out of it.

But that won't happen. After all, trolling is all the rage these days.

Re:hmmm (1)

SEE (7681) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489739)

Sun went demanding license fees for its patent portfolio from NetApp. NetApp has responded with a lawsuit asking for the court to say that it isn't violating Sun's patents, and counterattacking by claiming Sun is violating NetApp patents. It's a classic defensive use of a patent portfolio against a bully, and I hope they rip Sun a new hole that just gushes money.

Re:hmmm (2, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490861)

I doubt this will actually come to trial. I suspect NetApp is just playing the MAD card here to come to some kind "I'm OK, you're OK" cross-licensing deal. As TFA notes, Sun opened this can of worms by claiming NetApp was infringing on Sun patents. If they'd left well enough alone, they wouldn't be getting sued now. When all is said and done, they'll probably be back at their prior status quo. Sun is schizo; they don't know whether to open-source everything they've got, or sue someone over everything they've got :p

Never heard of NetApp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489971)

NetApp has been around for a very loooooooong time. Almost as long as Sun. And NetApp did invent the snapshot filesystem more than 10 years before Sun even developed ZFS, which is truly a copycat of NetApp's WAFL and Sun's own developers even documented that it was a copycat. Sun's corporate brass threw the first stone here, as NetApp seemed quite content to just let their patents sit undisturbed and allow others to make similar snapshot filesystems come to exist as long as it was being done in the spirit of open source development and some money grubbing corporation wasn't going to step on their technology turf they hold in the big dollar commercial realm until their patents expired. But Sun did exactly just that, so actually Sun is playing the "SCO" part here by attempting to steal the fruits of someone else's hard work and claim it as their own.

My toaster is from 1999 (2, Insightful)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489545)

I have a F760 fiber channel filer that was made back in 1999 running a WAFL (ontap 6.x now) OS. Funny how Sun didn't 'notice' the infringement until they made their own version of WAFL http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZFS [wikipedia.org] in 2005. Even funnier that the creators of ZFS claim that WAFL is the "closest" file system to their own. All we have to do is look at the dates here people. Netapp has been using WAFL for almost a decade in production systems. I'm no fan of Netapp because they want to charge for copies of software that I already bought years ago (corrupt disks) but I hope Sun eats a crow for trying to claim infringement on a system that has been in use for several years.

The filer is OLD!

Re:My toaster is from 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20489955)

As a Netapp customer (I have 6 V3070s), I hope they lose... nothing to do with WAFL, which is the only decent technology they have. They're fantastically overpriced compared to their competitors, and we have scale issues. I could do most of the rest of what they give me with a Solaris 10 box on a SAN with ZFS, which is what I think this might be about. And forum shopping makes them look like patent trolls to my uneducated sysadmin eyes.

Re:My toaster is from 1999 (3, Insightful)

mindslut (1152625) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490929)

A couple of themes I hear are that software shouldn't be patentable (fair premise) and that some people wish NetApp technology were cheaper (who would not prefer cheaper?) ... what kind of surprises me is that hardly anyone seems to know NetApp, where y'all been? WAFL is 15 years old ('92), and the snapshot only about a year younger.

If ZFS seems to mimic WAFL, as I hear, I'd say that's a tribute to NetApp engineering, but NetApp is the Rodney Dangerfield in IT (no respect, I tell ya). I find it disheartening that among the tech literate, no one seems to have heard of the pioneers in this area, least of all recognize the innovation.

If the /. set doesn't seem to think much of NetApp... what does it take? Winning popularity? Man oh man does it always come back to being the popular one? I'm hosed. I can do interesting things, but we don't all have that popularity knack.

I have always liked the Sun logo, color, product names, etc., no idea why, it's just all sunny and light and fun and Internet, nothing like the real world.

OK, hypothesis: The ceiling potential use and popularity of a programming language is determined by the language's name. Try:

LISP
v.
JAVA

Sun-Netapp Merger (1)

chudnall (514856) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489603)

Look for this to be settled with a Sun-Netapp merger. You heard it here first.

this suit will probably FUDdle... (1)

toby (759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489617)

...all those who haven't grasped the revolution inherent in ZFS yet.

The most compelling feature of ZFS is something that no storage appliance, RAID, or other self-contained subsystem can offer - end-to-end integrity.

Let's hope this doesn't chill Solaris 10 and ZFS adoption, because there's nothing else quite like it out there.

what is it this time? (0, Offtopic)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489621)

Someone has the patent on the concept of managing 'something' with 'something'? In this case files with a filesystem? I'm really sick of patent trolls.

Innovation and fairness wins my business (1)

MavenCCIE (1143763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20489837)

I am pulling for Sun on this matter. Innovation should always rule! Sun is a true innovator. ZFS is truly innovative. BTW, Storagetek has been around a lot longer than Netapp.

Re:Innovation and fairness wins my business (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490111)

I don't see anything particularly innovative about ZFS; it's just the application of standard engineering principles to create a fairly complex file system. I also don't think it's a particularly good combination.

So, NetApp and Sun... please kill each other.

Re:Innovation and fairness wins my business (1)

MavenCCIE (1143763) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490943)

Innovation doesn't have to always be new tech, it can be a new way of looking at old things. The key to innovation is to provide value. As for the combination, ZFS is a simple solution that has abstracted the complexity of combining the traditional disk, integrity, raid, storage functions, volume managers, file systems, and NFS. And for the rest of your comment, you are entitled to your opinion. As am I. Let the Sun shine.

looks like Sun started this (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490049)

NetApp saying that they are asking for declaratory judgment on patent claims Sun has made against them. I believe it: Sun likes leaving things, shall we say, legally ambiguous.

Sad but true.. (1)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 7 years ago | (#20490681)

Well, I can only say im sadened by both Sun and Netapp really. With any luck they'll both end up invalidating each other patents. I really hope that is the case.

ZFS is a nice fs (even if the linux implementation is going to be sadly lacking).
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