RealTime IT News

F5 Wins Patent, Sues Rivals

Seattle-based F5 Networks has secured a patent for technology that allows e-commerce, and other sites, to better serve repeat visitors and complete transactions.

The company also moved quickly to enforce it, filing infringement suits against Array Networks, Netscaler and Radware. The actions, filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, seeks injunctions against F5 rivals and unspecified damages for alleged use of F5's intellectual property.

An F5 spokesperson said hearing dates have not been scheduled yet.

First introduced in 1999, F5's "Cookie Persistence" stores an HTTP cookie on a user's computer that allows them to reconnect to the same server previously visited at a web site.

That allows a customer who abandons a shopping cart before completing a transaction to reconnect and pick up where they left off. Without the technology, the traffic management device could direct the request to a different server, which may not know about previous shopping cart status.

Cookie Persistence is built into F5's entire BIG-IP product line, hardware that provides high-availability load balancing, switching, Denial-of-Serivce attack protection, resource pooling and a number of other features to help protect an enterprise's Internet presence.

"We have invested millions in research and development to deliver the best traffic management products to the market," said John McAdam, F5's president and CEO. "Cookie persistence is no longer just a consideration in planning and designing Web site servers, it is a critical capability."

Radware said it would fight the suit.

"Upon our preliminary review, we believe that the lawsuit is without merit and we intend to vigorously defend it." said Roy Zisapel, CEO of Radware. "Further, we believe that the claims do not affect any technology that is core to our business."