In a civil suit filed on November 6th, 2007, Quest Software claims that BBS Technologies Inc.--the parent company of Idera--committed patent infringement and violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. A story by Ron Zapata at Technology Law 360 (registration required) provides additional details, including the location the suit was filed in (the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas).

A Quest Software representative contacted by SQL Server Magazine for comment said that "Quest doesn't comment on pending litigation." In a phone interview earlier today, Idera President and CEO Rick Pleczko said that his company had retained the services of Howrey LLP -- a law firm speciallizing in complex litigation, antitrust and intellectual property cases -- to help them prepare a defense against the claims made by Quest.

"We take this very seriously," said Pleczko."Our legal counsel and our engineering team have spent more than two weeks examining the suit, and we can't find any validity to the claim that we infringe on their patents. We don't agree with the claims made in the suit, and will vigorously defend ourselves...We fully expect to prevail."

Pleczko mentioned that the Quest suit identifies two Idera products for patent infingement: SQL mobile manager and SQL diagnostic manager. Pleczko says both products will continue to be marketed, sold and supported while the suit is in progress.

"There's also been some conjecture online \[in an industry technology blog\] that alleges criminal behaviour on Idera's part, and that is completely inaccurate," Pleczko said. "This is a civil case, not a criminal case, and neither Quest \[nor anyone else\] has accused us of criminal behavior. Any information to the contrary is completely false."

An attorney from Howrey representing Idera mentioned that the suit is in the discovery phase, in which participants collect documents and information from each other in preparation for the case. This period can take an indeterminate amount of time, with an eventual trial being anywhere from 6 months to 2 years away.

We'll continue to follow developments in the Quest-Idera case and update SQL Server Magazine readers as new information unfolds.