BMC sues ServiceNow for patent infringement

The lawsuit argues that ServiceNow has built its business on BMC's patents covering IT management.

BMC said Tuesday that it has sued ServiceNow, a fast-growing IT management rival, for patent infringement.

BMC's wall of patents.

The complaint argues that ServiceNow has built its business on BMC's patents covering IT management. BMC said incident management, analytics, configuration, discovery, orchestration and change management patents are being violated.

ServiceNow got its start as cloud-based way to manage help tickets and IT processes. Since then, ServiceNow has bridged into other business processes with its approach and created a platform. BMC went private last year and ServiceNow has become a Wall Street darling to some degree due to its torrid sales growth.

BMC said ServiceNow is infringing on seven patents including U.S. Patent Nos. 5,978,594; 6,816,898; 6,895,586; 7,062,683; 7,617,073; 8,646,093; and 8,674,992. Overall, BMC has more than 300 current and pending patents.

In its complaint, BMC said:

ServiceNow’s knowledge of BMC’s products and patents is also evident from ServiceNow’s public statements. As explained in Paragraph 15, ServiceNow’s founder, Fred Luddy, admitted that copying and stealing are key aspects of ServiceNow’s business model. Given that BMC is the industry leader and ServiceNow’s foremost competitor, and given the fundamental IT management technologies that are the subject of BMC’s patents, it seems clear that Mr. Luddy was referring to BMC’s ideas. That conclusion is further reinforced by the inflammatory and disparaging comments reproduced in Paragraph 18 that ServiceNow’s CEO, Frank Slootman, has made about BMC, in which Mr. Slootman admitted that ServiceNow’s business model is to “dismantl[e BMC’s] business.”


BMC has been irreparably harmed by ServiceNow’s acts of infringement, and will continue to be harmed unless and until ServiceNow’s acts of infringement are enjoined by this Court. BMC has no adequate remedy at law to redress ServiceNow’s continuing acts of infringement. The hardships that would be imposed upon ServiceNow by an injunction are less than those faced by BMC should an injunction not issue. Furthermore, the public interest would be served by issuance of an injunction.