Ruling In Splunk Lawsuit Against Cribl Pleases Both Companies

Cribl said the ruling is a "victory" for innovation.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

April 24, 2024

3 Min Read
Splunk lawsuit against Cribl resolved

Both sides are claiming victory at the conclusion of Splunk’s lawsuit against Cribl.

The Splunk lawsuit alleged Cribl misappropriated and misused Splunk source code, and confidential technical and business documents, as well as willfully infringed other Splunk intellectual property.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California decided in favor of Splunk, upholding its claim that Cribl willfully infringed its copyright in Splunk Enterprise and breached the licensing agreement that governs use of this software.

However, the jury awarded Splunk just $1 for copyright and contract violations. The company was seeking $155 million from Cribl. Splunk filed its lawsuit in October 2022.

“We are pleased with the verdict that the jury reached, which recognizes Cribl’s willful and unlawful actions,” Splunk wrote in a blog. “We look forward to taking the steps necessary to hold Cribl accountable and protect our software and community, including seeking injunctive relief to prohibit further copyright infringement and breach of contract by Cribl. We continue to believe strongly in the merits of our case and the facts surrounding it. In our opinion, Cribl’s actions were egregious and worthy of the legal recourse Splunk pursued, having created a harmful situation for our customers and the software industry at large.”

Conclusion of Splunk Lawsuit ‘Great News’

Cribl said the ruling in the Splunk lawsuit is a “victory for innovation.” The jury ruled that Cribl’s use of Splunk’s Enterprise software for the purpose of reverse engineering the Splunk to Splunk (S2S) protocol is lawful fair use under U.S. copyright laws.

The court also ruled that Cribl’s use of Splunk’s enterprise software for the purpose of testing and troubleshooting Cribl’s S2S integration with Splunk Enterprise is also fair use.

“Interoperability is the bedrock of tech and this ruling reinforces that using another product to ensure interoperability is a legitimate application of fair use,” said Clint Sharp, Cribl’s co-founder and CEO. “This is great news not just for Cribl, but for the tech industry at large. We are incredibly grateful for the time and attention of the court and jurors in determining this important outcome. Our mission is to empower customers with choice for their data and this ruling makes certain that customers can continue to take control of their data in the tools that best suit their needs, today and in the future.”

Cribl's Clint Sharp

Cribl Stream will continue to interoperate with Splunk Enterprise, he said.

“With this distraction behind us, we look forward to continuing to deliver value to our customers through building innovative products,” Sharp said. “... We would welcome the chance to renew our partnership with Splunk, a great company with products our joint customers love.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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