AS PROMISED by CEO Jonathan Schwartz, Sun Microsystems not only answered Network Appliance's complaint in East Texas Thursday but also countersued it in California Monday.
Sun's General Counsel Mike Dillon wrote in his bog, "Today, we filed a second complaint against NetApp for infringement of six additional patents and other related claims. Although it may appear a separate case, it is in reality, part of the same litigation originally brought by NetApp in Eastern Texas to impede the adoption of ZFS."
Legal decorum prevented Dillon from mentioning that NetApp undoubtedly filed its lawsuit against Sun in East Texas because that venue has been notoriously friendly to patent trolls. That NetApp had hied its lawyers all the way to East Texas to file its claims is a clue that it doesn't have overwhelming confidence in the validity of its patents or the merits of its case.
Instead, he writes "...we believe California is a more appropriate forum for any dispute between Sun and NetApp. Why? For starters, our companies are headquartered less than 10 miles apart here in Silicon Valley. All of the key witnesses in this case are located here, as are our attorneys. The same for most of the documentary evidence. And, almost all of the technology in dispute was developed here as well."
Sun will be filing a motion shortly to consolidate both lawsuits and remove them to Federal District Court in Northern California, Dillon writes. In addition to the reasons he mentioned, which are persuasive, there's also the fact that Sun's lawsuit alleges violations of California State law. That alone should be sufficient to get the California court to take jurisdiction. µ
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