Pure Storage has bought hundreds of storage patents from IBM in a deal it claims will protect both its own long-term future and that of its channel partners.
The storage vendor already has 150 patents of its own, but has doubled that number thanks to its latest shopping spree. The vendor has snapped up 150 existing US storage patents which are currently unlicensed by storage giants.
One patent collection was purchased from IBM as part of a cross-licensing deal the duo struck which will enable them both to pursue their respective flash businesses.
Announcing the deal in a blog post, Pure's chief executive Scott Dietzen said he expects the news to be controversial.
"No doubt not all readers will agree with our strategy," he conceded. "Some will say they do not believe in patents at all. Others will feel that using inorganic patents – even defensively – is inappropriate.
"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."
Pure is currently embroiled in an IP-based legal battle with arch rival EMC but Dietzen said focusing on innovation instead of litigation is its game plan.
"The vendors that do the best job of innovating to meet the needs of their customers and partners will ultimately prevail, not those that spend their time and money on legal stalls and distractions," he said. "Litigation remains a side show to that main event. Our goal is to keep the battle out of the courtroom and in customer datacentres where it belongs."
He added that its patent deal is essential to protect Pure's aggressive aims to reach the top.
"Incumbents should not be able to stifle innovation that they find disruptive to their business," he said. "Going forward, our hope is that this significant expansion of our patent portfolio will serve as a clear warning that Pure is serious about defending our ability to disrupt a storage marketplace that is deeply in need of innovation, and moreover, that Pure is in this for the long haul.
"We're convinced that by also owning inorganic IP that relates to existing legacy storage, we put ourselves in a stronger position to defend ourselves, thereby protecting the long-term interests of Pure's customers, partners and shareholders."
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