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BlueCat Networks

Customer Case Study: BlueCat Networks

BlueCat Networks Discovers Intellectual Ventures’ IP-for-Defense Program

When people in the tech world talk about IP, they might mean one of two things—intellectual property or Internet Protocol. Intellectual property is the catch-all term for property rights granted under patents, copyrights and trademarks, and Internet Protocol refers to the unique number code assigned to each computer, mobile device or tablet in a network that enables each device to communicate with the Internet. For the executives at BlueCat Networks, these two concepts collided in December 2011 when BlueCat Networks faced a patent infringement suit from a larger competitor that threatened to derail its success and burden BlueCat Networks, the smaller player, with the costs of defending a suit.

BlueCat Networks, a privately-held high-growth company based in Toronto, led by co-founders Michael Hyatt, CEO and Richard Hyatt, CTO, provides its customers with easy-to-use solutions for Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM) and related core network services including Domain Name System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Put simply, BlueCat Networks enables companies to manage the complexities of running networks, reduce IT costs and successfully implement IP-dependent services like clouds and virtualization. The Hyatts are dedicated to making BlueCat Networks an industry leader by providing its customers with smart, simple, cutting-edge products.

Strategy 

BlueCat Networks Discovers Intellectual Ventures’ IP-for-Defense Program 

Intellectual Ventures has helped us develop a pragmatic, forward-looking Intellectual Property strategy to defend our business and technology. Now that our legal issues have been resolved, we can continue to provide the best IPAM solutions on the market without distraction.

In June 2011, the Hyatts learned that Intellectual Ventures assists its customers facing patent infringement litigation through a program called IP-for-Defense (IPFD). By subscribing to IPFD, companies are able to access patents from Intellectual Ventures’ portfolio to defend themselves against threats of patent litigation. “We were looking for a way to level the playing field and get back to competing in the boardroom rather than the courtroom,” said Michael Hyatt. “We knew that acquiring patents and building a relationship with Intellectual Ventures would be the fastest, most cost-effective way to resolve the patent infringement suit against BlueCat Networks.” 

The logic behind IPFD is simple—if a company being threatened can defend itself, it is easier to reach a reasonable settlement rather than being forced to throw in the towel or fight a lengthy legal battle. Intellectual Ventures’ portfolio, which contains approximately 35,000 patents and patent applications in over 50 technology areas, has been a great boon for others in BlueCat Networks’ position. When BlueCat Networks subscribed to IPFD, Intellectual Ventures’ patent experts began to work closely with BlueCat Networks to identify patents in the Intellectual Ventures’ portfolio that could mitigate BlueCat Networks’ strategic risk. 

Results 

Intellectual Property Strategy Strengthens BlueCat Networks

After BlueCat Networks subscribed to Intellectual Ventures’ IPFD program, and utilizing patents acquired from Intellectual Ventures, BlueCat Networks filed a patent infringement suit against its competitor. The other company quickly came to the negotiating table. Within months, both suits had been settled and BlueCat Networks could continue focusing on its priority—taking care of its customers and innovating.

“At BlueCat Networks, we have always believed that healthy competition fuels the kind of innovation that benefits everyone in the marketplace,” said Richard Hyatt, CTO, BlueCat Networks. “Unfortunately, our product innovation and success made us a target. Intellectual Ventures has helped us develop a pragmatic, forward-looking Intellectual Property strategy to defend our business and technology. Now that our legal issues have been resolved, we can continue to provide the best IPAM solutions on the market without distraction.”

These days, BlueCat Networks’ customers have confidence that they’ve partnered with a technology vendor with a smart IP strategy—both kinds of IP. As an Intellectual Ventures customer, the BlueCat Networks team has become savvier about protecting the company’s technology and growing its existing patent portfolio. And as an IPFD subscriber, BlueCat Networks is able to draw upon a valuable resource if faced with patent infringement suits in the future.