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Salesforce Lawsuit Charges Microsoft With Patent Infringement

Rick Whiting
CRM .Net

Salesforce and Microsoft compete head-to-head in the market for Software-as-a-Service CRM applications. More generally they are battling it out with competing platforms -- and visions -- for the potentially huge cloud computing software market.

Salesforce filed the suit Friday in federal district court in Wilmington, Delaware, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek story.

“Microsoft has incorporated Salesforce.com’s patented technology into its services and products,” Salesforce charged in the suit, according to the Bloomberg story. The suit said Microsoft products, such as SharePoint and the .Net platform, perform in a way that violates the Salesforce patents and the “risk of infringement was either known or so obvious that it should have been known by Microsoft,” the suit said.

Salesforce is seeking a court order to prevent Microsoft’s further use of Salesforce technology, plus unspecified cash compensation, according to the Bloomberg story.

Microsoft sued Salesforce on May 18 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, claiming that Salesforce’s CRM application infringe’s nine Microsoft patents.

In a statement at the time Microsoft said it invests billions of dollars each year to develop software and services. “We have a responsibility to our customers, partners and shareholders to safeguard that investment, and therefore cannot stand idly by when others infringe our IP rights,” the statement said.

Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at rwhiting@thechannelcompany.com.

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