F5 Doesn't Like A10's Name -- But Sues Over Patents, Not Trademarks

from the you-sunk-my-battleship dept

johnjac points out that it's a bit odd that, in the middle of a patent lawsuit, data center provider F5 Networks complains that competitor A10 Networks name itself is an attempt to copy F5. Who knows whether the patent questions are legitimate, but names have nothing to do with patents, and it seems like a pretty big stretch for F5 to claim that a company that combines a letter and a number is automatically doing so "as a play, or allusion to, F5's corporate name." And, even if it were true, how would that matter if the discussion is over patents, not trademarks?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 2:54am

    0xF5 = 245
    0xA10 = 2576

    Hmm.. no that would be just silly. :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ben, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 3:37am

    Not Unusual

    My guess is that F5's lawyers convinced F5 that they wouldn't win on the trademark suit, so they put that information in the complaint to make A10 show that A10 had a history of copying F5.

    I'm not a big fan of putting a totally irrelevant accusation like that in a complaint, but it's a pretty common practice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 3:46am

    My keyboard sues F5 networks, for infringing on its use of F5. My keyboard clearly has prior art. (yes, I know, prior art has nothing to do with it, but names aren't patentable either.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 4:06am

    F5 Better watch it in case A10 comes and shoots them up with that big gun in its nose....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    I thought one was not allowed to patent, copyright or trademark a number.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    Re:

    Only at Techdirt do we immediately turn to hexadecimal to solve weighty problems. You do us proud.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    got no real fight, argue anything and hope something sticks

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    bob, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    Hell

    I thought this was about jet fighters not some lame assed IT company, crap.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Matt, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 6:02am

    F5 makes load balancing hardware/software, among other security-related networking gear, and is not a datacenter provider. A10 also makes load balancing hardware/software, and from what I heard, their products were made by a few ex-F5 employees - so F5 probably has some legitimate reasons to go after A10 on patent infringement grounds.

    As far as the name thing goes - both are pretty lame names, if you ask me.... Certainly not worth a lawsuit alone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    F5 should be far more worried about its ability to compete with A10. I've used both and I'll choose A10 given the opportunity to choose, their support is far more responsive/cooperative. The licensing is not convoluted and frustrating, and the devices are every bit as capable. I suspect that this is just an attempt to hamstring them in court because F5 aren't competing well in the marketplace.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 6:31am

    Hey, F5? 3M wants to talk to you about your name...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    William C Bonner, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 6:56am

    funny history on the names.

    When I think of the F5 name, I think of an F5 storm, rated on the fujita scale. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujita_scale)

    When I think of the A10 name, I think of A10 Tank Killer, showing my age, and remembering a game from 1991 featuring the A10 Thunderbolt military aircraft. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-10_Tank_Killer

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Joel (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 8:26am

    Re:

    Damn you!!! I was going to put this too... ]=

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    woofwoof (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 8:43am

    naming

    trademarking a name can also be considered part of intellectual property infringement.
    could a company get away with koka-kola?
    mersedes bends?
    a10 at first glance seems like a casual relationship- then you hear Arules, Acontrol, and then it goes from casual to (inmho) nefarious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    bob, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 11:10am

    I think that Force ought to get involved with this. how can a # be inteeectual property.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 27th, 2010 @ 12:09pm

    The ability to fly with one wing ripped off by AA fire is way cooler than the ability to refresh your web browser

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    By that reasoning, the makers of A1 steak sauce should be sending F5 a C&D? I'm pretty sure the A1 trademark has been around a lot longer than F5s.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    jl, Apr 27th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

    I guess they are going to sue L1 the biometrics company as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    jt, May 2nd, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    F5 is losing steam and in its attempt to continue to monopolize and bully its clients, they are doing anything they can to attack their competitors, even something as petty as the accusing of name copying. What are they 3 years old?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    jt, May 2nd, 2010 @ 8:28pm

    F5 is losing steam and in its attempt to continue to monopolize and bully its clients, they are doing anything they can to attack their competitors, even something as petty as the accusing of name copying. What are they 3 years old?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Bart, Oct 31st, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    A10 name

    I heard that a10 picked their name based on chinese sensibilities, something like the sound of '10' in chinese being near something lucky and 'a' meaning best.
    From what I hear a10's products are a lot faster than f5's...so if they did copy something, clearly they left out the slowness feature.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    kno1unkno, Jun 15th, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Re:

    well if f5 is having a hard time competing with them, then how is f5 closing on a billion dollar a year run rate and still growing every qtr. A10 hardware is garbage, i can build it and A10 is still small enough to give the mom and pop hand holding that some companies need. As A10 grows the support will change and so will the hand holding. A10 is a copy cat product of brocade and they just fired a vp of sales who left f5 for bringing F5s database to A10...wow what a great company, steals code and data bases. Learn about whats actually going on and then comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Bill Gates, Jun 24th, 2011 @ 11:34am

    F#cK F5

    I actually invented the load-balancer, and I hold a million patents to prove it, and I'm going to sue both of them. All kidding aside, my advice is for F5 to purchase A10, then destroy the technology. That's always worked for me whenever there's been supperior technology then Microsoft's.

    Best regards,

    Bill

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This