Orrick Client Brocade Awarded $112 Million in Damages Against A10 Networks


Brocade Communications Systems Inc. announced a jury verdict awarding $112 million in an intellectual property infringement and business tort suit against A10 Networks.

On August 6, 2012, a San Jose federal court jury returned a verdict for patent and copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation that covered A10′s entire AX Series load-balancing server products.  The jury also unanimously awarded punitive damages against A10 and against its CEO, Lee Chen, strongly condemning their interference with contract. 

The jury found for Brocade on: 

  • Three claims of patent infringement involving technologies for Global Server Load Balancing and High Availability. The jury found that the A10 AX Series line of load balancers infringe on these specific patents.
  • Misappropriation of four trade secrets involving techniques used in the Brocade ServerIron products that A10 applied for use in its AX series.
  • Direct copying of proprietary Brocade code used in Brocade's ServerIron products for use in A10 products.
  • Unfair competition based on interference with the contract of an engineer while he was employed at subsidiary Foundry Networks (Brocade acquired Foundry in late 2008). A10's CEO Lee Chen directly recruited the engineer to work at both places at the same time in breach of his contract with Foundry. 

Brocade was represented by Allen Ruby of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meager & Flom, partners Annette Hurst, Bas de Blank and Denise Mingrone of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, and Fabio Marino of McDermott, Will & Emery.  Brocade is a longstanding client of Orrick, which has handled numerous intellectual property matters for the company. 

Additional assistance at trial was provided by Orrick associates Sid Venkatesan, Elizabeth McBride and Christina Von der Ahe, McDermott, Will & Emery associate Nitin Gambhir and Steven Lybrand of Skadden acting as jury consultant.

Brocade will now proceed with a second phase of the litigation in which it will pursue additional claims of patent and copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation.  Orrick is also evaluating the options for seeking permanent injunctive relief.