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Commvault lawsuit says Rubrik, Cohesity infringed on patents

Commvault accused startups Rubrik and Cohesity of copying its inventions. Its lawsuit seeks judgment to stop the sales of products such as Cohesity DataPlatform and Rubrik CDM.

Commvault filed a lawsuit against Cohesity and Rubrik alleging patent infringement, and wants its data protection rivals to stop selling products that used the technology involved.

Commvault filed lawsuits today in federal court in Delaware, accusing its rivals of infringing six Commvault patents related to data management technology. These patents included technology such as "System and method for providing redundant access to metadata over a network," and "Selective snapshot and backup copy operations for individual virtual machines in a shared storage." A total of seven patents were allegedly infringed collectively between Rubrik and Cohesity.

In the complaint filed against Cohesity, Commvault alleged six of its patents were infringed upon:

  • S. Patent No. 7,725,671, titled "System and method for providing redundant access to metadata over a network;"
  • S. Patent No. 7,840,533, titled "System and method for performing an image level snapshot and for restoring partial volume data;"
  • S. Patent No. 8,762,335, titled "System and method for storage operation access security;"
  • S. Patent No. 9,740,723, titled "Systems and methods for management of virtualization data;"
  • S. Patent No. 10,210,048, titled "Selective snapshot and backup copy operations for individual virtual machines in a shared storage;" and
  • S. Patent No. 10,248,657, titled "Data object store and server for a cloud storage environment, including data deduplication and data management across multiple cloud storage sites."

Products that Commvault said uses these patents include Cohesity DataPlatform, DataProtect, CloudArchive, Cohesity DataPlatform VM Backup, Helios and appliances such as the C2300, C2500, C3000, C4000 and C6000.

The complaint against Rubrik alleged infringement on patents 7,725,671, 7,840,533, 9,740,723, 10,210,048 and 10,248,657 as above, but also included U.S. Patent No. 8,447,728, titled "System and method for storage operation access security." The accused products included Rubrik Cloud Data Management (CDM) software and Rubrik's "Brik" appliances.

"The unauthorized use of our patented technology by Rubrik and Cohesity forces us to compete against our own inventions," said Marcus Muller, Commvault's vice president and chief intellectual property counsel in an email statement. "This litigation is essential to protect the innovations that Commvault has pioneered through our deep, sustained investments in R&D. We welcome competition, but we must demand respect for intellectual property to ensure a fair and healthy marketplace."

For both complaints, Commvault is seeking judgment to prevent Rubrik and Cohesity from making or selling the accused products, as well as damages under 35 U.S.C. § 284. If judgment is found in favor of Commvault, Rubrik and Cohesity would be on the hook for what would be considered a reasonable royalty for the use of Commvault's patents.

"It is not uncommon for legacy vendors to attempt to disrupt the disruptors with frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to stifle innovation and sales. In this case, we were made aware of Commvault's lawsuit not by their legal representatives but via the media. We believe there is no merit to this complaint, and we will of course stand our ground and defend our technology vigorously," said Lynn Lucas, chief marketing officer at Cohesity in an email statement.

A spokesperson for Rubrik said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

Commvault has been an established name in the data protection field for more than two decades. It has been named a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery for the past eight years and is consistently a Leader in The Forrester Wave: Data Resiliency Solutions evaluation as well.

Rubrik and Cohesity are part of a group of data protection newcomers with a large amount of private funding. Both companies emerged in 2014 with the idea of bringing hyper-converged infrastructure to secondary storage. Most recently, Cohesity closed a Series E funding round for $250 million in early April, bringing the company's value to $2.5 billion.

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