Friday, November 12, 2010

Northern California Judge finds Fortinet's firewall does not infringe patent

An image from U.S. Pat. No. 7,519,990
Image courtesy Google patents.
This blog has been following the ongoing saga of the patent litigation between Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks here and here.  In the present action Fortinet accuses Palo Alto Networks (PAN) of infringing upon its firewall patent shown to the right.

Judge Jeffery White explained that the patent claim covered comparing a protocol of network traffic content with a prescribed protocol to determine whether there is a match.  PAN's firewall uses a transmission control protocol (TCP) and user datagram protocol (UDP) as a transport layer protocol which Fortinent contends infringes its patent.  Judge White disagreed stating that malformed packets are disregarded because they lack a transport layer protocol in the PAN firewall.  Since the device does not use the method in the '990 patent there is no infringement.

Judge White granted summary judgment for PAN on infringement of the '099 patent.  The case is Fortinet v. Palo Alto Networks No. C 09-0036 and the opinion is below the jump.

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