It might just be a case of sour grapes, but ZL Technologies is clearly tired of puckering up to Gartner's fabled "Magic Quadrant" ranking, which has consistently relegated the archiving vendor to "niche" status. After many attempts to prove its technology was on par with "leader" Symantec, ZL filed a lawsuit attacking Gartner's methodology. According to the filing, "at the core of this action are not only the reckless statements made by Gartner as an influential member of the media, but an economic model championed by [Gartner] that elevates marketing puffery over serious technology." The suit sought $396 million in damages and $1.3 billion in punitive damages.

The judge who ruled in early November had little sympathy for ZL. The case came down to whether the Magic Quadrant is an objective presentation of quantifiable facts or, as Gartner argued, just Gartner's opinion protected by the First Amendment. The judge dismissed all of ZL's allegations - defamation, trade libel, false advertising, unfair competition, and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage - but he gave the vendor until December to present something more convincing.

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