Riverbed Patents Called into Question

Riverbed patent claims rejectedThe United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently reexamined two Riverbed patents (7,428,573 & 7,849,134) and rejected all of the claims in each patent that Riverbed has accused Silver Peak of infringing.

Silver Peak had requested the USPTO reexamine these patents that Riverbed alleges are infringed by Silver Peak. In its Office Action, the USPTO stated these rejections “are being adopted essentially as proposed in the request for reexamination.”

These two patents are continuations of Riverbed’s very first patent and are related to Riverbed’s core deduplication technology. It appears Riverbed’s attempts to use its patents to slow down Silver Peak has backfired in a big way. This is a huge embarrassment for Riverbed as it calls into question the originality of their foundational technology. Despite spending millions of dollars on legal fees, Riverbed has to-date been unable to block Silver Peak who is gaining market share with its superior technology.

The full text of the USPTO’s communications on these matters can be found at:
http://portal.uspto.gov/external/portal/pair
(Select “Control Number” and enter 95/002,308 for the 7,428,573 patent and 95/002,310 for the 7,849,134 patent.  Then click the “Image File Wrapper” tab to access the documents.)

Alternatively, the communications can be downloaded here:
http://blog.silver-peak.com/riverbed-patent-reexamination-7849134.pdf
http://blog.silver-peak.com/riverbed-patent-reexamination-7428573.pdf

This is just the latest setback in Riverbed’s anti-competitive vendetta against Silver Peak.

Riverbed had already dropped two other patents from the same lawsuit. In a November 1, 2012 letter to the judge in the case, Riverbed stated: “Given recent discovery in this case, and in an effort to pare down the scope for both the Court and the jury, Riverbed has determined to dismiss U.S. Patent Nos. 7,853,699 and 7,953,869 from the current litigation.”

The last time Riverbed was in a patent lawsuit with a competitor (Quantum Corp) they lost and paid Quantum $11M to settle the case after spending $4.1M in legal fees.

How much longer will Riverbed keep trying to use these scare tactics to discourage customers from considering Silver Peak’s software-based solutions which offer superior performance and more cost effective solutions? Silver Peak is the fastest growing WAN optimization company in part because former Riverbed customers are increasingly choosing to replace Steelhead hardware with Silver Peak.