Storage Soup

Sep 15 2009   1:25PM GMT

Broadcom accuses Emulex of patent infringement

Dave Raffo Dave Raffo Profile: Dave Raffo

Emulex hasn’t heard the last from Broadcom after all.

Broadcom, which unsuccessfully tried to acquire Emulex this year, Monday filed a lawsuit charging that the HBA vendor infringed on 10 of its patents for storage and networking technologies. The chipmaker is seeking monetary damages and injunctions to stop Emulex from using the technology.

The patents include Fibre Channel, FCoE, TCP offload engine, remote direct memory access (RDMA), and serializer/deserializer (SerDes) technologies.

“As we developed our plans for the Fibre Channel over Ethernet market, we discovered that Emulex is infringing multiple Broadcom patents in an effort to use Broadcom technology to compete against both our existing and future products,” Broadcom VP for intellectual property David Rosmann said in a statement. “We believe Emulex is infringing a broad range of Broadcom patents; we are concerned that Emulex’s infringement is pervasive.”

Emulex released a brief statement, claiming: “Emulex is reviewing the patents associated with the complaint filed today by Broadcom. Emulex has a policy of vigorously defending the company against assertions of this kind.”

Stifel Nicolaus Equity Research analyst Aaron Rakers maintains the suit is a reaction to Emulex fighting off Broadcom’s hostile takeover attempt. He says it also indicates Broadcom is now looking to develop its own FCoE technology rather than trying to acquire a company with the technology.

“This is not a move against Emulex to reconvene discussions on a possible combination,” Rakers wrote in a note to clients.

Rakers also wondered if Broadcom found any patent infringements against Emulex rival QLogic, but when he brought this up to a Broadcom representative he was told Broadcom has not looked at QLogic’s product portfolio.

Broadcom successfully sued its rival Qualcomm several years ago for violating patents, and Qualcomm agreed to pay Broadcom $891 million in a settlement earlier this year.

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