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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Computer Business News: Azul Cites Sun for Attacks

Azul Systems, Inc., a Java network processing vendor recently started legal proceedings against Sun Microsystems, Inc. in an attempt to protect itself from what it claims to be vicious attacks from the systems vendor.

A spokesperson from California-based computer business Azul states that Sun had approached them previously to express concerns that there were former Sun employees working at Azul, and that the company was worried about patent breaching. Azul has since that time offered Sun the opportunity to verify these claims through audits and other confidential disclosures, but the company has instead begun legal proceedings against Azul threatening to charge the vendor with patent and secret trade if it does not allow Sun specific ownership and very steep licensing fees.

President and CEO of Azul Systems, Stephen Dewitt is a former Sun employee and was present as CEO of Cobalt Systems when Sun took over the company in September of 2000. Although Azul very hired the head of Sun’s HPC unit and its chief of marketing Shahin Kahn to be the chief of marketing right after the takeover, Dewitt claims there was no Sun presence at Azul before he showed up years later.

In terms of products and patents, while Azul's JVM is based on Sun's HotSpot JVM, the company has a Java license that is in “good standing.” The company itself was founded in April 2002 and worked on its Vega processor secretly and uninformed by other companies until it was introduced in September 2004 and sold for the first time in April 2005.

The Azul Compute Appliance was designed to work with Java Virtual Machines.
This network-attached processing model is being pitched as an alternative to other under-used general-purpose servers that have been created recently in order to deal with Java-based application proessing. of under-utilized general-purpose servers that have been deployed in recent years to handle Java-based application processing.

Dewitt states that he has attempted to propose licensing agreements with Sun to no avail. He states that Sun has launched a lawsuit grounded in a desire to compete and interrupt Azul’s attempts to get products on the market.

Sun has refused comment.

Blogged By: Computer Consulting 101