Patent Troll/Alley Thug Pleased With Salesforce.com Patent Suit Settlement
All that bluster and bravado and in the end, Salesforce.com chose to settle its patent dispute with Microsoft rather than go to the mattresses. On Wednesday afternoon the two companies said they had resolved the patent-infringement battle that prompted Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff to brand Microsoft a “patent troll” and “alley thug.” The companies’ arrangement will see each giving the other coverage under their respective patent portfolios and Salesforce.com giving Microsoft some additional “compensation.”
“We are pleased to reach this agreement with Salesforce.com to put an end to the litigation between our two companies,” Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement. “Microsoft’s patent portfolio is the strongest in the software industry and is the result of decades of software innovation. Today’s agreement is an example of how companies can compete vigorously in the marketplace while respecting each other’s intellectual property rights.”
Microsoft first sued Salesforce.com in May, alleging the company’s CRM services violated nine Microsoft patents. Salesforce.com promptly branded the company a patent troll and “a former leader of industry.” But a month later, it slapped Microsoft with a patent suit of its own and hired David Boies, the former U.S. Justice Department attorney who successfully argued the federal antitrust case against Microsoft, to represent it.