Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

Summary:Microsoft announced on August 4 that it has settled its patent infringement case with Salesforce. While the terms of the agreement aren't being disclosed "Microsoft is being compensated by Salesforce.com," according to a Microsoft press release.

Microsoft announced on August 4 that it has settled its patent infringement case with Salesforce. While the terms of the agreement aren't being disclosed "Microsoft is being compensated by Salesforce.com," according to a Microsoft press release.

Microsoft sued Salesforce for patent infringement in May in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Salesforce countersued Microsoft for patent infrigement in the U.S. District Court of Delaware. Salesforce enlisted Microsoft legal nemesis David Boies -- founder of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, who represented the U.S. Department of Justice in its antitrust case against Microsoft last decade  -- to take its case.

According to a statement from Microsoft, "The cases have been settled through a patent agreement in which Salesforce.com will receive broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for its products and services as well as its back-end server infrastructure during the term; and Microsoft will receive coverage under Salesforce.com’s patent portfolio for Microsoft’s products and services."

"Salesforce.com is pleased to put this litigation behind us," said a corporate spokesperson in an e-mailed statement.

Neither party is saying whether Microsoft also paid Salesforce as part of the settlement. Nor are the two sides disclosing the size of any payments made.

Microsoft sued Salesforce for alleged IP violations over the following patents:

•“method and system for mapping between logical data and physical data” •“system and method for providing and displaying a web page having an embedded menu” •“method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display” •“automated web site creation using template driven generation of active server page applications” •“aggregation of system settings into objects” •“timing and velocity control for displaying graphical information” •“method and system for identifying and obtaining computer software from a remote computer” •“system and method for controlling access to data entities in a computer network”

Salesforce, for its part, said Microsoft's SharePoint and .Net technologies violated its patents.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called Microsoft a "patent troll" when Microsoft announced its suit.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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