UPDATED 12:54 EST / APRIL 21 2020

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In new lawsuit, Commvault accuses Cohesity and Rubrik of violating 7 patents

Three of the most prominent players in the data protection market are headed to court.

Commvault Systems Inc. today said that it has sued startup rivals Cohesity Inc. and Rubrik Inc. for collectively infringing upon seven of its patents. The lawsuit, filed in a Delaware federal court, seeks an injunction against the companies as well as monetary damages.

Publicly traded Commvault provides data protection software for backing up business information and recovering files after outages. The company also has a presence in the software-defined storage market thanks to its $225 million acquisition of startup Hedvig Inc. last year.  

Cohesity and Rubrik, which both received valuations in excess of $3 billion after their most recent funding rounds, provide data protection and management products that compete with Commvault’s software. Like Commvault, the startups have extended their capabilities beyond backup to adjacent areas.

The seven patents Commvault accuses Cohesity and Rubrik of infringing mainly cover methods for backing up and securing information. The company filed most of the patents between 2006 and 2014, while the two most recent filings were submitted in 2009. 

Marcus Muller, Commvault’s chief intellectual property counsel, told ZDnet that the case marks the first time the data protection provider has launched a patent infringement lawsuit against another firm. Muller separately told Forbes that Commvault has reached out to Cohesity and Rubrik to “encourage them to have a dialog with us,” suggesting the lawsuit could very well end with some sort of settlement.  

Cohesity and Rubrik “wrongfully short-circuited the research-and-development process, minimized the investment necessary to have competitive products, and forced Commvault to compete against its own inventions,” Commvault’s lawsuit alleges. 

The competition between the three firms was in the industry spotlight even before today’s case. In the most recent edition of the influential Forrester Wave ranking of data resiliency providers, Commvault, Cohesity and Rubrik were the only players besides Veeam Software Inc. that were grouped together under the “Leaders” category. 

The seven patents that Commvault alleges were infringed are registered under the numbers 7,725,671, 7,840,533, 8,447,728, 8,762,335, 9,740,723, 10,210,048, and 10,248,657 with the  U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Cohesity told SiliconANGLE it believes there’s no merit to the suit and said it will “defend our technology vigorously.”

“It is not uncommon for legacy vendors to attempt to disrupt the disruptors with frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to stifle innovation and sales, Cohesity Chief Marketing Officer Lynn Lucas said in a statement. “This complaint appears to be an attempt to slow our rapid growth and impede our accelerating success. Our view is that innovation can’t be stopped. We believe the market is excited about our vision and extraordinary solutions, as evidenced by our recent $250 million Series E funding round and the 100% increase we’ve seen in customers as well as data under management.”

For Rubrik’s part, a spokesperson told SiliconANGLE that “Rubrik does not comment on pending litigation.”

Photo: Commvault

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