Flash array maker Pure Storage strengthened its IP portfolio Thursday by purchasing more than 100 storage-related patents from computing giant IBM.
CEO Scott Dietzen said in a blog post that Pure has organically grown a global IP portfolio of close to 150 patents and pending applications. The IBM deal brings Pure's patent total to 300.
Deitzen said that by also owning inorganic IP that relates to existing legacy storage, Pure is in a much stronger position to defend itself.
Pure Storage signed a patent cross-license agreement with IBM, but clearly Pure is looking to safeguard against intellectual property lawsuits (or side shows, as Dietzen said) that could be brought by other competitors – ultimately stalling industry growth and detracting from Pure's quest to conquer the storage world:
Pure intends to take a moral high ground in the potential use of our newly acquired IP: We pledge that we will not make first use of these patents, but rather use this IP only to defend against aggression from those competitors who choose litigation over marketplace competition. Our goal is to keep the battle out of the courtroom and in customer data centers where it belongs.
Believe me, Pure would rather spend the money we are using to acquire patents on more engineers and more innovation. But make no mistake: Pure will not be deterred from our mission to build the next great storage company.
Given the $225 million in new funding Pure raised in April — which served to boost its valuation to $3 billion — Pure certainly has dollars in need of protection.