Eric Lai

DATAllegro CEO Stuart Frost responds to patent suit

By Eric Lai
August 14, 2008 6:04 PM EDT

Data warehousing appliance vendor -- and recent Microsoft Corp. acquisition -- DATAllegro Inc.'s CEO Stuart Frost responded to the patent lawsuit filed against him and his firm via his blog very early Thursday morning.

Frost's money quote:

"After analyzing the claims, we feel strongly that they're completely without merit and intend to vigorously defend our position. Given the prior art in this area, we're also considering asking the Patent Office to re-examine Jardin's patent."

So, a jujitsu move: I'll try to undermine the very patent with which you are trying to sue me!

For as Frost claims to database analyst Curt Monash, Jardin's patent application failed to disclose/discuss the similar, earlier patents -- aka, the prior art -- in data warehousing software.

That's a "bad idea if you want the patent to hold up to reexamination when you try to enforce it later," wrote Monash. Frost, he adds, "further claims that DATAllegro doesnÂ’t come close to infringing anyway. Needless to say, he also rejects the allegation that his own patents or applications in the area are for similar claims to those Jardin asserts."

At least Jardin filed his case in Southern California court, where both parties reside and do business, rather than east Texas, a known haven (and heaven) for patent troll lawsuits. According to a 2006 article in Technology Review, patentholders, including trolls, prevail in courts there 88% of the time, vs. 68% nationwide (interestingly, as Monash points out, Sybase is maximizing its chances by suing rival data warehousing vendor Vertica in east Texas).

I don't have the know-how to decipher patent applications. But I'm sure some readers out there do. So I've put the 35-page PDF, which includes Jardin's 2007 patent, online (click here) and invite you to comment and judge. Any Groklaw types out there wanna take a look? :)