On September 12, 2010 NetApp and Oracle agreed to dismiss an ongoing lawsuit over ZFS and WAFL. The original suit was filed by NetApp accusing then Sun Microsystems’ (which Oracle recently acquired) ZFS file system of infringing on NetApp’s patents.
Two intervening factors in the dismissal are likely that Sun was purchased by Oracle and on the other side of the equation NetApp recently announced that Matt Fawcett joined as the company’s new General Counsel and Secretary. Matt was instrumental in a lot of the JSDU/ JDS Uniphase litigation that the company won recently and has a lot of credibility for understanding big litigation.
This is a great announcement for those wishing to build a ZFS based FreeBSD or OpenSolaris system as it means one less threat to the longevity of ZFS. There is still a quite real possibility that Oracle will stop supporting ZFS but that is unlikely to happen in the near term due to support contracts for Sun hardware still being active.
Feel free to read NetApp’s announcement on this issue explaining that the suits have been dropped.