A10 Seeks New Trial in Patent Infringement Case

A10 Networks Inc. has until Monday to notify distributors, reseller partners and customers that it lost a multimillion-dollar lawsuit to Brocade Communication Systems Inc. Last week, the courts upheld a conviction that A10 violated several patents for software used in the AX series application load balancing controllers.

According to Brocade, the courts  ordered A10 to pay Brocade $60 million damages and $50 million in lost profits and imposed a permanent injunction on the sale of AX products containing the compromised code. A10 disputes the interpretation, saying the court only found $2 million in damages and royalties, and has since vacated the award. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said A10 could continue to develop the AX series by either replacing or designing around the infringed patents.

“The jury found A10 guilty of broad-based intellectual property infringement and unfair competition. We are very pleased that this permanent injunction will stop A10 from unlawfully using Brocade’s patents,” Tyler Wall, vice president and general counsel at Brocade.

A10 says the impact on resellers and customers is minimal, as the company has removed the offending code from the AX series. The company hopes a new trial will lift the cloud of suspicion over its products and vacate the damages award.

“We are our industry’s leading innovator, and this ruling will not affect our customers, our partners, or our progress,” said A10 CEO Lee Chen, in a statement. “We have already designed around the issue, completed rigorous testing of non-infringing software, and will ship AX Series products immediately to serve our outgoing and future orders.”

The court’s affirmation of its previous conviction of A10 in the summer of 2012 should bring the long-running legal drama with Brocade to a close. However, A10’s insistence on further appeals to avoid paying the judgment means the legal arguments and the public war of words will continue. Throughout the deliberations, both companies have lobbed allegations and charges in the court of public opinion, hoping to sway partners and customers.

The good news for solution providers and customers is the continuing legal challenges and press release barrages will no longer have any impact on their operations.




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