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Brocade CEO says McData suit a 'publicity stunt'

Brocade CEO Greg Reyes says McData's lawsuit against them is a joke and that its rival has zero percent chance of winning.

CHICAGO -- Brocade Chairman and CEO Greg Reyes pounced on comments regarding rival McData's patent infringement lawsuit during a Q&A session at the SearchStorage Storage Management conference Thursday.

In response to a user's request to address the suit, Reyes said McData's claims are unfounded.

"It's nothing but a publicity stunt," said Reyes. "We're going to make this a non-issue for our customers."

Broomfield, Colo.-based McData filed the suit in February claiming Brocade violated patents relating to monitoring the transfer of data within a switch. The technology, called "frame filtering," relates to eliminating bottlenecks that can slow data transfer within the switch.

According to McData, the San Jose-based Brocade has been shipping its new Silkworm 3200 switch, a product that uses frame filtering.

But, Reyes said that the patent has nothing to do with frame filtering.

"The reason they're trying to litigate is because this is very important technology," said Reyes. "But, I say innovate, don't litigate. They don't even support this technology they developed. If you develop it, why don?t you use it?"

"This is just a publicity stunt by someone who's hurting in the market. The odds of McData winning are zero."

"He isn't an engineer and it comes across in his comments," said John Kelley, president and COO of McData, about Reyes' remarks. Kelley responded to Reyes' comments during a phone interview shortly after the session.

"We have 25 patents, Brocade has three," he added. "We're known easily as the engineering leader in this environment and for him to say, 'innovate, don't litigate'?.well, it's very funny. He should be a little bit more apprehensive about his engineers."

Kelley added that frame filtering is embedded in all its chips (excluding ones developed before 1998).

"They used it, we responded," said Kelley. "The reason for the suit is to get Brocade to turn off the frame filtering function in their products."


Special event coverage from Storage Management 2002 in Chicago

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