Marimba's attempt to set a standard to reduce Web congestion met its first hurdle today when Novadigm filed suit against it, alleging infringement of intellectual proporty rights.
Novadigm, whose market for automated software distribution Marimba has recently entered aggressively with its Castanet push technology, claimed some elements of the would-be standard infringe on Novadigm patents, which are already the subject of a patent lawsuit against the push vendor.
"We think that Marimba's sudden magnanimous decision to abandon their own patent process and donate the technology to open standards should be seen in the light of our already granted patent and the ongoing litigation, as an exploitative action," said Novadigm chief executive Albion Fitzgerald. "We own this technology and we're going to vigorously defend it, even as Marimba works aggressively to use and claim credit for it."
The company has asked the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body to defer consideration of Marimba's Distribution and Replication Protocol (DRP)until the patent lawsuit, outstanding since March, is resolved - which could take many months.
Marimba, together with Sun, Netscape, Novell and @Home Network, submitted a joint proposal based on DRP to the W3C yesterday (see earlier story). The technology is designed to reduce Internet traffic when updating files or programs, by sending only the new content rather than a complete update.
Novadigm said it would notify Netscape and the other companies involved in the W3C submission. Fitzgerald said he thought Marimba either had not told them of the outstanding patent suit or had told them "only one side of it". Novadigm had previously not publicised its dispute with Marimba.
Marimba was not available to comment.
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