It took just a little over a month for Salesforce.com to answer Microsoft's charge of patent infringement. On June 24, Salesforce sued Microsoft, making its own claims of patent infringement.
According to Bloomberg, the Salesforce complaint cites Microsoft's .Net platform and SharePoint, which "perform in a way that violates the Salesforce.com patents, and the 'risk of infringement was either known or so obvious that it should have been known by Microsoft.'"
Salesforce is bringing in the big guns for this one. The company has hired long-time Microsoft 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 make its case.
Microsoft sued Salesforce for alleged patent infringement on May 18. The patents on which Microsoft is claiming Salesforce is infringing -- and for which Microsoft is seeking treble damages and fees -- include:
It was pretty obvious Salesforce wasn't going to roll over, after Microsoft lodged its case, with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calling Microsoft a "patent troll" and "alley thug."
I've asked Microsoft for comment on the Salesforce case. No word back yet. Also no sight of the Salesforce complaint so far... More to come.
Update: Here's Microsoft's official statement, attributable to Horacio Gutierrez, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Intellectual Property & Licensing:
"We are reviewing Salesforce.com's filing, which we have just received. We remain confident about our position and will continue to press ahead with the complaint we initiated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington."
Update 2: Here's the full Salesforce complaint (via TechCrunch). Salesforce cites the following patents as among those upon which Microsoft is infringing:
Salesforce is alleging that several Microsoft products and technologies infringe on these patents, including Windows Server App Fabric, Windows Error Reporting (as incorporated in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2), SharePoint and the .Net platform (specifically ASP.Net Web services).