Brocade Wins Legal Battle with A10 On Load Balancing Tech.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Aug 9, 2012 | Print this Page
http://www.enterprisenetworkingplanet.com/netsysm/brocade-wins-legal-battle-with-a10-on-load-balancing-tech..html

After three long weeks of trial, a jury decision came down this week in the Brocade vs. A10 Networks case.

The dispute centered on alleged intellectual property and trade secret infringement by A10. The connection between A10 and Brocade is somewhat direct. A10 was founded in 2004 by Lee Chen after leaving Foundry Networks, another company he helped to create. Foundry was acquired by Brocade in 2008 for $3 billion.

According to Brocade, the jury in the trial found that the A10 AX Series line of load balancers infringe on Brocade's intellectual property. They also determined that there was a "misappropriation of four trade secrets involving techniques used in the Brocade ServerIron products that A10 applied for use in its AX series."

Additionally, according to Brocade, the jury found that there was,"unfair competition based on interference with the contract of an engineer while he was employed at Foundry Networks (which Brocade acquired in late 2008)."

"Brocade is grateful for the jury's service and close attention to the evidence. Brocade stands firm in its commitment to protect its intellectual property assets and our innovation," said Tyler Wall, general counsel at Brocade. "While litigation is a last resort, in this case the jury plainly felt that it was warranted. We are pleased that jury agreed with us on our arguments and for handing us this major victory in court."

In total the jury awarded Brocade approximately $112 million, according to Brocade's version of the verdict.

A10 sees the result somewhat differently.

According to A10, the verdict was a mixed one ," …finding no liability for most of the copyright claims and certain state-law claims and no willful patent infringement, and finding damages of only $1 for the trade-secret claims and interference-with-contract claim."

In total, according to A10, they were assessed only $60 million damages.

As to why A10's view of the verdict is different than Brocade's view, the two companies also disagree.

"The jury verdict form clearly sets forth the amount awarded," A10 spokesperson, Kelly LeBlanc told InternetNews. " This is consistent with the amount reported in A10's press release."

LeBlanc and A10 however were unable to provide InternetNews with a copy of the jury verdict. Brocade was also unable to send a copy of the verdict.

"We cannot comment on A10's rationale or logic behind its claims," Brocade spokesperson John Noh, told InternetNews . "We stand behind our statements we made public."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.