Salesforce.com pays up in MS patent settlement

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Salesforce.com pays up in MS patent settlement

Alex Scroxton

Microsoft and Salesforce.com have put aside their differences and settled their three month patent spat, with Salesforce.com made to pay licensing fees over nine patents it stood accused of violating.

The IP in question related to Microsoft's CRM software portfolio, an area where the two firms compete head-to-head, and Salesforce.com promptly fired back with a suit of its own.

The financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed by either party, but in a statement Microsoft intimated Salesforce.com would be paying compensation to Redmond.

Under the terms of the agreement, Salesforce.com will receive broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio,for products and services as well as back-end server infrastructure during an undisclosed "term".

Microsoft will also receive coverage under Salesforce.com's patent portfolio for some of its products and services.

"Microsoft's patent portfolio is the strongest in the software industry and is the result of decades of innovation," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of IP and Licensing for Microsoft.

"Today's agreement is an example of how companies can compete vigorously in the marketplace while respecting each other's intellectual property rights," he added.


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