In April 2019, Cirba Inc., doing business as Densify, filed a complaint against VMware for patent infringement. Densify is a self-described startup software company focusing on cloud and container management and optimization. VMware is a multi-billion-dollar software company focusing on cloud infrastructure and digital workspace technology. The complaint alleged that VMware copied Densify’s technology and infringed upon its patents.
The jury reached a verdict on January 24, finding VMWare liable for infringement. VMware owes Densify more than $235 million The jury also concluded that VMware did not prove any of Densify’s patent claims invalid. VMware was not held liable for trademark infringement or deceptive trade practices.
The main patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 8,209,687, entitled “Method and system for evaluating virtualized environments.” Densify claimed that VMware infringed on its technology. “Densify’s product and VMware’s vROps 6.1’s dashboard share substantially the same key features (e.g. ‘too little infrastructure’ is analogous to ‘overutilized’). The similarity of VMware’s dashboard to Densify’s was so striking that Densify received a call from a customer who mistakenly assumed VMware must have acquired Densify.”
In a statement, VMware maintained that it did not infringe the patents, and signaled an intent to appeal. “VMware is proud of its history as an innovator and leader in the enterprise software space. While we appreciate and respect the judicial process, we continue to strongly believe that we do not infringe the patents asserted against us in this case, and intend to vigorously pursue all legal remedies that are available to us to prove that we are not liable here.”