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Microsoft Sues Salesforce.com Over Software Infringement

Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against Salesforce.com, the cloud-computing CRM vendor. Microsoft is suing for infringement of nine Microsoft patents. Microsoft is no stranger to patent infringement suits, but usually finds itself in the defendant’s chair.

Microsoft claims that the Salesforce.com has violated the following patents:

  • 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

(ReadWriteWeb)

We can’t help but assume that at the heart of the infringement suit is a battle for higher positioning in the CRM market. Salesforce.com is the vendor to beat in the CRM industry. Last year, Salesforce.com raked in $1.3 billion in sales. Microsoft could definitely benefit financially from knocking Salesforce.com down a few pegs.

The suit was filed yesterday in Seattle against Salesforce.com. Microsoft is asking for an injunction as well as substantial monetary compensation. The software giant isn’t messing around; an injunction would force Salesforce to stop using any technology in violation of Microsoft’s patents and will severely damage the capabilities of Salesforce.com’s cloud-CRM product. No doubt, the injunction would indirectly boost the value of Microsoft’s Dyamics CRM software.

Although the lawsuit might dent Salesforce.com capabilities, Salesforce users shouldn’t panic. Even if Salesforce loses the battle it will probably just result in minor changes to the functionality of the CRM software. Microsoft has set itself up for a win-win situation. If Microsoft is successful, it will strip money and functionality away from¬†Salesforce.com’s software. The blow to Salesforce.com might just be the ticket Microsoft needs to seize market share with their Dynamics CRM software.

[Photo courtesy of rocketlawyer.]