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February 11, 2009
SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a global leader in wireless LANs and secure mobility solutions, today announced that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued a preliminary re-examination report rejecting all claims of Patent No. 6,973,622, which was asserted against Aruba Networks by Motorola in 2007. In rejecting all of the patent’s claims, and provided that the preliminary finding is made final, the USPTO’s decision would invalidate the entire patent.
Motorola originally asserted four patents – two from its Wireless Valley division and two from its Symbol Technologies division -- against Aruba with no advance notice immediately preceding Aruba’s fiscal fourth quarter 2007 earnings conference call in August 2007. Aruba subsequently filed counterclaims and also requested that the Patent Office re-examine all four patents based, among other things, on substantial prior art unearthed by Aruba. The Patent Office agreed to do so, and today’s preliminary report is a result of Aruba’s re-examination request. The three other re-examinations are still pending.
Requests for re-examination, like the ones filed by Aruba, are often successful in having the subject patent either changed or completely revoked. Motorola itself admitted in a court filing in 2008 that approximately 76% of patents subject to re-examination are either changed or cancelled. In this case, the Patent Office relied heavily on Wireless Valley’s own User Manual, which predated its patent application by over twelve months and which Wireless Valley failed to provide in full to the Patent Office. Today’s preliminary finding validates Aruba’s challenge to this patent as invalid, and also provides support to Aruba’s counterclaim of inequitable conduct by Wireless Valley in its prosecution of this patent.
“We believe that the existence of prior art, especially Wireless Valley’s own User Manual, that predated Wireless Valley’s patent filing carried great weight with the Patent Office," said Mike Reinemann of Cesari and McKenna, patent counsel to Aruba.
Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN)
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