He didn't say Warmenhoven is a liar but Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz publicly rebutted NetApp patent infringement claims and its account of the affair in his blog today.

NetApp CEO Warmenhoven being misinformed would be the polite implication of Schwartz' statement that: "Sun did not approach NetApp about licensing any of Sun's patents and never filed complaints against NetApp or demanded anything."

He goes on to suggest that if anyone has been engaged in underhand activities it is not Sun: "NetApp first approached StorageTek behind the cover of a third party intermediary (yes, it sounds weird, doesn't it?) seeking to purchase STK patents. After Sun acquired STK, we were not willing to sell the patents, We've always been willing to license them. But instead of engaging in licensing discussions, NetApp decided to file a suit to invalidate them. To be clear, we never filed a complaint or threatened to do so, nor did anyone, to the best of my knowledge, in the ZFS community."

On September 5th NetApp exec VP Dave Hitz wrote this in his blog: "About 18 months ago, Sun’s lawyers contacted NetApp with a list of patents they say we infringe, and requested that we pay them lots of money."

Someone's account is wrong here. My bet is on Hitz, as Jonathan Schwartz must, absolutely must, have discussed his comments with Sun's legal team and they should surely know the sequence of events.

But, but, but... surely Dave Hitz and Dan Warmenhoven discussed their strategy with NetApp's legal team and they should know.

What on earth is going on here? Someone has got things badly wrong. It seems that either Jonathan Schwartz is misinformed (in which case heads should roll) or he is not, in which case Warmenhoven and NetApp appear to be, unintentionally one really hopes, lying.

Come on guys, get this nasty little splat sorted.