AirTight Slaps Patent Suit On Aerohive


Wireless security specialist AirTight Networks has filed suit against Aerohive Networks alleging patent infringement, the two companies confirmed this week.

AirTight's case centers on U.S. Patent 7,339,914, issued to the company March 4, 2008, and covering a rogue detection technique that AirTight refers to as Marker Packets. Aerohive, according to AirTight, willfully infringed on that patent in products such as Aerohive's Hive Access Points (AP).

AirTight and Aerohive entered into a partnership back in 2009 intended to provide Aerohive customers access to AirTight's wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) technology, but AirTight is alleging that Aerohive misappropriated its intellectual property and incorporated it into its own products.

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The suit, dated January 23 and filed in the Northern District Court of California in San Jose, indicates that AirTight is seeking "enhanced damages," attorneys' fees and an injunction against Aerohive.

Reached by CRN, Aerohive offered the following statement from Steve Debenham, vice president of legal and general counsel:

"This relates to a long-standing disagreement with AirTight over claimed use of its 'WIPS marker packet' technology in older Aerohive software releases. We do not believe the AirTight lawsuit has any basis and, in fact, we believe the AirTight patent asserted against us is invalid and not enforceable. More importantly, we do not make, sell, or distribute any products which use the AirTight technology."

"We are sorry that AirTight chose to take this route," Debenham added. "We intend to defend our position vigorously and believe AirTight's action will ultimately prove fruitless."

PUBLISHED JAN. 29, 2013