Microsoft, Salesforce settle patent dispute

Agreement includes undisclosed 'compensation' for Microsoft

Microsoft and Salesforce.com have reached an out-of-court settlement concerning alleged patent violations.

It appears that Microsoft will get paid under the agreement, which was quickly settled after both sides sued each other this year. Microsoft issued a statement Wednesday indicating that it "is being compensated by Salesforce.com" for patents on "operating systems, cloud services and customer relationship management software."

The terms of the deal aren't being released. Because the two sides each sued the other over noncoinciding intellectual property claims, it's not clear if money exchanged hands or if some sort of mutual licensing agreement was reached.

A spokesperson at Salesforce.com would not provide clarification. She stated only that "Salesforce.com is pleased to put this litigation behind us."

Salesforce.com and Microsoft both compete in the customer relationship management space, selling sales and contact management software to companies and organizations. Microsoft had sued Salesforce.com first, in May, alleging nine patent violations. In June, Salesforce.com countersued, alleging five patent violations by Microsoft.

Although the alleged patent violations were specified in the two lawsuits, Microsoft's announcement today was vague about the legal details.

"The cases have been settled through a patent agreement in which Salesforce.com will receive broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for its products and services as well as its back-end server infrastructure during the term," according to a released statement from Microsoft. "Also as part of the agreement, Microsoft receives coverage under Salesforce.com's patent portfolio for Microsoft's products and services."

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is the online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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