Home Microsoft Sues Salesforce for Patent Infringement

Microsoft Sues Salesforce for Patent Infringement

Microsoft filed a lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, against Salesforce.com for infringement of nine Microsoft patents, according to Horacio Gutierrez, vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing.

Although the frequent target of such suits, the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft itself has only filed patent infringement suits four times in its history.

Salesforce, based in San Francisco, is a cloud-based customer relationship management software company.

The nine patents that Microsoft holds Salesforce to have broken are the following.

  • 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
  • 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

    The filing requests triple damages and a permanent injunction against Salesforce’s continued alleged use of the patents.

    We have been and may in the future be sued by third parties for alleged infringement of their proprietary rights.

    In an SEC filing in January, Salesforce acknowledged the interest of a company that appears to be Microsoft.

    “The software and Internet industries are characterized by the existence of a large number of patents, trademarks and copyrights and by frequent litigation based on allegations of infringement or other violations of intellectual property rights. We have received in the past and may receive in the future communications from third parties claiming that we have infringed on the intellectual property rights of others. During fiscal 2009, we received a communication from a large technology company alleging that we were infringing upon some of their patents. We continue to analyze the potential merits of their claims, the potential defenses to such claims and potential counter claims, and the possibility of a license agreement as an alternative to litigation. We are currently in discussions with this company and no litigation has been filed to date.”

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