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Actifio sues Rubrik for patent infringement

Actifio's complaint alleges Rubrik's products, including its 'Brik' appliances and Cloud Data Management software, infringes on four of Actifio's patents.

Backup vendor Actifio, often credited with popularizing the term copy data management, has accused Rubrik of copying its ideas.

Last week, Actifio filed a lawsuit against Rubrik claiming that Rubrik's "Brik" appliances and Cloud Data Management software infringes on four of Actifio's patents. The four patents are:

  • U.S. Patent No. 6,732,244, titled, "Instant Virtual Copy Technique with Expedited Creation of Backup Dataset Inventory from Source Dataset Inventory;"
  • U.S. Patent No. 6,959,369, titled, "Method, System, and Program for Data Backup;"
  • U.S. Patent No. 9,495,435, titled, "System and Method for Intelligent Database Backup;" and
  • U.S. Patent No. 10,013,313, titled, "Integrated Database and Log Backup."

Actifio wants Rubrik to stop making and selling the infringing products and seeks monetary damages, but did not specify an amount.

Actifio's underlying technology platform is its Virtual Data Pipeline (VDP). VDP generates a virtualized golden copy of changes in production data, which then becomes the single data source for multiple use cases. This improves efficiency because backup, disaster recovery (DR) and test/dev can all draw from this single data source instead of separate data silos specific to each use case. VDP also has built-in functions for managing data life cycle, deduplication and compression.

Rubrik's Cloud Data Management combines backup and recovery, replication, analytics and search onto a single software platform. It can run on the cloud or on Rubrik's "Brik" appliances. Similar to Actifio VDP, Rubrik's platform is designed to be a single data source for multiple use cases.

"Vendors who are slow to innovate often resort to lawsuits to suppress sales and innovation of market leaders. We believe there is no merit to this complaint, and we intend to defend this lawsuit vigorously," Rubrik president Dan Rogers said in an email statement.

This is the second time this year that Rubrik was sued for patent infringement. In April, backup industry veteran Commvault filed lawsuits against Rubrik and Cohesity, alleging both companies infringed on Commvault's patents. The complaint against Rubrik claimed Rubrik's Cloud Data Management software and "Brik" appliances infringed on seven Commvault patents. Some of the technology Rubrik is accused of lifting from Commvault include, "System and method for performing an image level snapshot and for restoring partial volume data," and "System and method for storage operation access security."

Cohesity responded to that lawsuit with a similar claim to Rogers' current statement -- that its accuser was using lawsuits to attack its competitor's sales.

"It is not uncommon for legacy vendors to attempt to disrupt the disruptors with frivolous lawsuits in an attempt to stifle innovation and sales," said Lynn Lucas, chief marketing officer at Cohesity in an email statement.

Data protection continues to be a highly competitive and dynamic market, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to research from Evaluator Group, data protection is among the top three technology investments that businesses are making in response to the pandemic, alongside security and cloud infrastructure. Investor interest also hasn't stopped, as DR vendor Zerto received $53 million in additional funding in June and tape vendor Quantum revealed in its latest earnings call that it secured an additional $20 million in liquidity from its lenders.

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