Microsoft sues, alleging patent infringement

Share this content:

Microsoft filed a lawsuit against in Washington State federal court on May 18, alleging the CRM software-as-a-service provider infringed on nine of its patents.

“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,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate VP and deputy general counsel of intellectual property and licensing at Microsoft, in a statement.

Microsoft did not comment further, and declined comment when reached by DMNews.

The patents in question are not specific to CRM, although Microsoft and are competitors in that space. Microsoft Dynamics CRM clients include Pepsi, Gibson guitars and Seventh Generation. clients include Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Starbucks and Dell. It acquired business data provider Jigsaw April 21 for $142 million.

Microsoft claims infringed on patents titled “System and method for providing and displaying a web page having an embedded menu” and “Method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display,” as well as other back-end items.

“Its going to take a long time to resolve – it could take years to sort it out,” said Greg Boyd, an associate in the new media department at law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP. “It's also interesting because Microsoft isn't normally a plaintiff in patent cases, it's normally a defendant. But there are zero immediate effects.”

Boyd's colleague Michael Lasky, co-chair of the litigation department at Davis & Gilbert, notes a request for “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to stop from further infringing on the patent” is also part of the suit.

“The key thing is to see if Microsoft at some point in the not-so-distant future files a court application for injunctive relief,” Lasky adds. “Merely putting it in the complaint as something they might ultimately seek is not self-executing.”

If Microsoft obtains such an injunction, Salesforce would have to shut down its services, Boyd and Lasky said. However, this process would also take a long time.

“It's not an easy thing to get,” Lasky explained. “Microsoft will have to show the court not that it has a 51% chance it will win, but that there is a high likelihood of success, and that it cannot simply be compensated by monetary damages. That's the burden of proof.”

It's likely the suit will end with a monetary settlement, Boyd said.

“It's impossible to fully understand [Microsoft's motivations],” he added. “When you have a couple pharmaceutical companies against one another, the reasons are clear — but with anything less than that, it's irresponsible to speculate.”

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above