Inventor sues DATAllegro and its chief for patent infringement

Microsoft stirred up some waves when it agreed to buy data warehouse appliance maker DATAllegro in July. One unexpected result: an inventor claims that DATAllegro stole his technology. He filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against the company and its chief executive.

Cary Jardin, an inventor, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in federal court in San Diego, VentureBeat has learned. The suit names Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based DATAllegro and CEO Stuart Frost, but it does not name Microsoft.

The suit says that Jardin received a patent, U.S. patent no. 7,177,874, for a “distributed database architecture” in February 2007. The patent describes a way to create high-speed distributed processing in a clustered system environment. Such a system is aimed at breaking the bottleneck in database processing. That essentially describes DATAllegro’s appliances, which can hold anywhere from 1 terabyte to hundreds of terabytes of data.

Back in 2003, Frost was the CEO of Jardin’s company, XPrime. There, the suit alleges that Frost learned about Jardin’s patent application. After leaving XPrime, Frost allegedly tried to pass off Jardin’s inventions as his own by filing his own patent applications.

Jardin alleges that Frost then used those patent filings as the basis for DATAllegro’s products. Therefore, Jardin is alleging that DATAllegro’s technology is based on his own inventions. The suit asks for unspecified damages. DATAllegro has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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