Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

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.

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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 has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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20 comments
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  • Them fighting words

    Corporate patent lawyers start to sound like North Korean leaders.
    honeymonster
  • All those patents are absolutely asinine

    That's putting it mildly.

    -M
    betelgeuse68
  • foreseeable but still nice

    nice to see you cant just copy someons elses work and not hce to pay them for it
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @Johnny Vegas

      I'm guessing you've never written a line of code... ever.

      -M
      betelgeuse68
  • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

    If you have any microsoft stock I would sell them. If microsoft has to depend on those patents for income then I would say they are a dying company.
    jsusanka
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @jsusanka ... uh uh, they just posted their largest quarterly revenue ever 16 billion up 22% year on year ... you go ahead and sell, I'll buy yours :)
      gazzacl
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @jsusanka guess you don't read the market page. The just posted a huge quarter, and Win7 is growing...
      ItsTheBottomLine
      • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

        @ItsTheBottomLine that is what happened when vista shipped. and we all know what a hit vista was don't we. just because they rely on mafia scare patent tactics to force people to use their crap software does not mean they are good in the long run. but keep up the short term thinking maybe microsoft can hire you they seem to be in that mode.
        one of these days they will threaten the wrong company and their software patents can be used for toilet tissue.
        they have not innovated anything. windows 7 is nothing more than a vista support pack.
        jmsusanka
  • David Boies, eh?

    His lawfirm also (currently) represents--SCO. :)

    Guess the DOJ thing was a lucky fluke, he doesn't seem all that good to me...
    wolf_z
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @wolf_z your kidding - now that is funny.
      ItsTheBottomLine
  • Patents system needs review

    Patents system is being used by software firms to cripple competition from small organisations. Most of patents are vague and hinder any invention at all. Most of patents are age old and it is literally impossible to do any kind of development without infringing on a Patent.

    Any small or medium size business in western world cannot innovate in software technologies. I cannot imagine how developing countries will ever able to innovate. They stand no chance at all.
    p.vinnie
  • Patents - Out of Control

    M$ to sue the human race over a new patent...
    "system and method for dissolving oxygen into the blood stream via inhaling air into the human lung."
    Telexer
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @Telexer

      Please don't give them any ideas.
      hito_kiri
  • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

    Glad to say Itold you so--I told you so! By the way, there is nothing wrong with patent system, just those who try to profit by stealing. Microsoft could not beat them, so they joined them. Way to go Microsoft, glad to see you get paid for the great work you do. Yoku dekimashita!
    eargasm
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @windozefreak
      Oh so one one sleaze joins another. Cool!
      LTV10
    • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

      @windozefreak

      They are not getting paid for their great work, they are getting paid for having very broad reaching generalized patents and billions of dollars to sue with. If you really think their is nothing wrong with the patent system then there is no help for you.
      hito_kiri
  • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

    All those techniques look like common software techniques taught in schools and text books. So if you write something successfull Microsoft will sue you? Or should you do everything via a European country so this crap will not effect you?
    tomaaa17
  • RE: Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

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