Citrix And VMware Settle Avi Networks Dispute

Their rivalry has thawed in recent years, and the two virtualization giants have reached terms that will avoid trial in a patent-infringement lawsuit VMware inherited when it purchased the application delivery startup.


The industry's leading virtualization technology vendors—VMware and Citrix—have finalized a settlement that will avoid further litigation stemming from VMware's recent acquisition of Avi Networks.

The two companies have “resolved the litigation” without taking their patent-infringement dispute to trial, confirmed Tony Gomes, Citrix executive vice president and chief legal officer. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

When it closed its deal for Santa Clara-based Avi Networks this past summer, VMware also assumed ownership of a pending lawsuit from a rival with whom a once-bitter rivalry had thawed in recent years. Last month, Citrix signaled a desire to resolve the matter, crediting VMware's ownership of the startup as the motivation for its change in tack.

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Citrix sued Avi Networks in a Delaware federal court at the end of 2017 on claims of patent infringement.

The startup's flagship Avi Vantage Platform, a comprehensive software-defined application delivery service, used patented Citrix technology without the proper license, Citrix argued in its legal documents.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-headquartered virtualization vendor also had asked the court to bar the startup, founded in 2012 by former Cisco executives, from spreading on its website what Citrix saw as "numerous false and misleading deceptive statements" about Citrix's NetScaler networking products.

The lawsuit went on to claim Avi Networks had hired several Citrix employees who brought to Avi "their knowledge of Citrix's products and intellectual property."

VMware reached terms to the buy the hot startup last June for an undisclosed price, looking to leverage Avi Networks technology to woo DevOps professionals by bringing the public cloud experience into the data center.

The deal closed a month later, and the Avi Vantage Platform was touted at VMworld 2019 as a central component of VMware's software-defined application services. The platform offers next-gen load balancing, service mesh, web application firewalls and autoscaling to power and secure cloud applications.