A10 countersues Brocade over patents

Claims Brocade products infringe on its patents, seeks to bar sales

A10 Networks said it is countersuing Brocade for patent infringement and seeking to bar sales of its competitor's products in response to a motion filed this week by Brocade to bar sales of A10 products.

A10 is suing Brocade in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District Court of California for infringing one of its patents. A10 is also seeking injunctive relief against further sales of Brocade's products and services in violation of A10's patent rights.

A10 is looking to stop sales of Brocade's FCX Series, FastIron Series, Mobility Access Points and Mobility Controllers, IronView Network Managers, and all Brocade Professional Services, including IP Network Infrastructure Services, IronView Network Manager and Brocade Technical Support.

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"We're not impressed by such me-too legal maneuvering," a Brocade spokesperson said in response to the A10 countersuit. "We stand strongly behind our assertions in the motion we filed earlier this week and in our lawsuit against A10."

The A10 counterclaims were made in response to a motion Brocade filed earlier this week seeking a court order barring A10 from making, selling or importing parts for its AX series of application controllers. Brocade filed suit against A10 last summer for copyright theft, trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement, and the motion seeks to cease sales of the AX line until that trial commences.

Brocade says A10 founder and CEO Lee Chen created his company and its products in 2004 using proprietary knowledge from Foundry Networks, which Chen co-founded and Brocade acquired in 2008. F5 Networks, a leading provider of application controllers, is also suing A10.

A10 denies the Brocade theft allegations, claiming its products are not covered by the asserted Brocade patents; that neither A10 nor its employees have misappropriated any enforceable trade secrets or copyrights; and that the Brocade patents in question are invalid.

A10 said it has also filed re-examination requests with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to declare that all claims in the Brocade patents, as asserted against A10, are invalid.

With regard to this week's motion filed by Brocade, A10 said it is reviewing the specifics of the motion and will respond as ordered by the court.

In a statement, the company denies any wrongdoing.

"A10 denies that its products wrongfully use any proprietary Brocade code. A10 further denies that Brocade is entitled to any injunction, and believes that Brocade's decision to publicize its new motion shows that it is intended primarily to intimidate potential A10 customers. A10 will continue to defend against Brocade's patent, copyright, and trade secret claims, and intends to further pursue its own pending claims that Brocade infringes A10's patent rights and that Brocade itself wrongfully obtained access to A10's proprietary technology."

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