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Why so glum, VMware? It's Friday. Oh, is it this $235m patent infringement invoice from Densify? Too bad, so sad

Virtualization giant hit with massive tech blueprint verdict

Updated VMware is set to find itself a little lighter in the wallet after losing a nearly quarter-billion dollar patent-infringement case.

A jury in a US federal district court in eastern Delaware on Friday found in favor of Densify, and against the Dell-owned IT giant, in legal battle over basic concepts of virtualization. In doing so, the panel of peers awarded damages of $235,724,765 (£180,300,000, ish).

Cirba Inc, now operating under the name Densify, accused VMware of ripping off its US Patent 8,209,687, which describes a "method and system for evaluating virtualized environments," in VMware products.

The patent covers techniques for analyzing and managing virtual machine instances. Specifically, it is described as a system and method for "compatibility analytics and virtualization rule sets" in VMs.

Cirba filed an infringement lawsuit against VMware in April last year, and the case went to jury deliberations earlier this week, with a verdict reached within days. In addition to the $235m infringement award, a second, far more modest $1.1m award was also given for the infringement on a second virtualization patent.

VMware (fiscal 2019 net income: $2.42bn) had no comment on the matter, and it remains to be seen if an appeal is going to be lodged. Densify did not respond to a request for comment. ®

Updated to add

Following publication of this article, VMware sent us a statement:

“VMware is proud of its history as an innovator and leader in the enterprise software space. While we appreciate and respect the judicial process, we continue to strongly believe that we do not infringe the patents asserted against us in this case, and intend to vigorously pursue all legal remedies that are available to us to prove that we are not liable here.”

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