Palo Alto Networks Shakes Loose of Inventor's Suit

Palo Alto Networks Shakes Loose of Inventor's Suit

SAN FRANCISCO — An inventor who once tried to do business with the founders of Palo Alto Networks Inc. has agreed to drop a patent infringement suit against the company.

Qiang Wang, an architect and design engineer who specializes in network security, has ditched two claims of patent infringement as well as a claim to change the inventorship of one of the Santa Clara-based company’s patents. The claims will be dismissed with prejudice. Wang also signed a covenant not to sue Palo Alto Networks again for patent infringement, said the company’s lawyer, Daralyn Durie of Durie Tangri. Neither side will make a payment as part of the settlement, and both sides will bear their own fees and costs.

“It’s very gratifying to actually get rid of this for nothing,” Durie said.

Niro, Haller & Niro partner Paul Vickrey, who represented Wang, did not respond to a request for comment.

In an order issued earlier this month, U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California granted Palo Alto Networks’ motion for summary judgment, finding that Wang’s trade secret claims were barred by the statute of limitations. Wang alleged that a former Palo Alto Networks executive stole his trade secrets after the pair discussed doing business together. Durie said the order was instrumental in bringing about the settlement.

“I think they saw the writing was on the wall,” she said.

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