Salesforce.com hits back in Microsoft patent spat

Summary:On-demand CRM vendor countersues Redmond, alleging software giant infringed five of its patents in number of services and products including Microsoft .Net.

Salesforce.com has countersued Microsoft for various patent violations, claiming the software giant has infringed five patents owned by the on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) vendor.

According to media reports, the complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware alleges that a number of Microsoft services and products, including its .NET platform and SharePoint collaboration software, infringe Salesforce.com patents.

In the filing, Salesforce.com said the risk of infringement was "known or so obvious that it should have been known by Microsoft", Bloomberg reported. The company is seeking a monetary award triple the amount of damages suffered and an injunction to prevent further use of Salesforce.com products by Microsoft.

To boost its case, Salesforce.com has engaged the services of David Boies, the former U.S. Justice Department attorney who helped successfully prosecute Microsoft in a previous antitrust case.

Last month, Microsoft filed a lawsuit alleging Salesforce.com violated nine of its patents. The patents range from one covering a "system and method for providing and displaying a Web page having an embedded menu" to another that covers a "method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display".

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's deputy general counsel for intellectual property, told Bloomberg the company was reviewing Salesforce.com's complaint. He added the Microsoft remains confident about its position and will continue to pursue the complaint it first filed.

Topics: IT Employment, Apps, Legal, Software

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