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Pure Storage has won an important ruling in our ongoing patent litigation with EMC.
We are pleased to announce that EMC’s $14 million verdict against Pure Storage has been set aside. The judge has ordered a new trial that will allow Pure to make the case to a jury that EMC’s ‘015 patent is invalid.
As you might remember, back in March, in a case in federal court in Delaware, a jury found that some of Pure’s older flash arrays with a prior version of our software infringed a single EMC patent covering data deduplication software.
The court has now ruled on the various post-trial motions. In the most important decision, the judge found that the jury in the case improperly failed to consider Pure’s assertion that the EMC patent at issue – known as the ‘015 patent – isn’t valid due to an earlier patent issued to Sun Microsystems. Importantly, the judge also ruled that the Sun patent includes most aspects of the invention claimed in EMC’s patent, leaving only one element for the jury to address in a retrial.
Based on that view, the judge granted Pure’s request for a new jury trial that would specifically look at whether the earlier Sun patent should make the EMC deduplication patent invalid.
Also, because the court’s ruling eliminates any finding that Pure has infringed a valid patent, it dismissed EMC’s request for a permanent injunction. EMC needs to prevail on validity before any damage award could be reinstated.
The court has not yet scheduled a date for the new trial, but it is unlikely to occur before next year.
Our view remains that EMC ‘s approach to market competition is to compete in courtrooms rather than the marketplace. We continue to believe that we will ultimately prevail in the patent infringement case – and today’s ruling is a major step in that direction.