Commvault sues Cohesity and Rubrik

Update; April 21, 2020 – Cohesity statement added. April 22, 220 – Rubrik statement added.

Commvault has filed suit against data management upstarts Cohesity and Rubrik, alleging patent infringement. It is seeking injunctive relief and unspecified monetary damages.

The patents in question concern data management technologies including cloud, data deduplication, snapshots, search, security and virtualization.

Commvault alleges that Rubrik and Cohesity have appropriated Commvault-patented inventions to short-circuit their development processes and minimise the investment required to build competitive products.

Warren Mondschein, Commvault general counsel, said in a statement: “Commvault is not a litigious company but given this clear patent infringement by Cohesity and Rubrik, we have a responsibility to file these lawsuits – we must stand up for our innovation and intellectual property.”

We understand Commvault did not talk with either company before announcing its lawsuits. This was confirmed by a Cohesity statement issued by Cohesity CMO, Lynn Lucas;

“It is not uncommon for legacy vendors to attempt to disrupt the disruptors with frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to stifle innovation and sales. In this case, we were made aware of Commvault’s lawsuit not by their legal representatives but via the media. We believe there is no merit to this complaint, and we will, of course, stand our ground and defend our technology vigorously. 

“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 percent increase we’ve seen in customers as well as data under management.” 

A Rubrik statement said: “Rubrik does not comment on pending litigation.”

The three companies compete for data protection and management business. Commvault is a long-established vendor while Rubrik and Cohesity are the well-funded and fast growing new kids on the block.

Specifically the lawsuits, filed in Delaware, claim that Cohesity has infringed and continues to infringe at least one claim of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,725,671, 7,840,533, 8,762,335, 9,740,723, 10,210,048, and 10,248,657, and Rubrik has infringed and continues to infringe at least one claim of U.S. Patent Nos. 7,725,671, 7,840,533, 8,447,728, 9,740,723, 10,210,048, and 10,248,657.

The wording; “at least one claim” is oddly non-specific.

Note. Commvault is currently facing engagement with activist investor Starboard Value who wants its directors on Commvault’s board.