back to article Microsoft launches patent suit at Salesforce cloud

Microsoft has sued, claiming that the cloudy outfit has infringed on its patents. Microsoft filed suit with a US court seeking a trial, damages, and costs, saying Silicon-Valley software-as-as-service posterchild violated nine patents. Microsoft's deputy general counsel of intellectual property …


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  1. Mark 65


    That doesn't sound like utter desperation. Couldn't they find anything better than a load of spurious sounding tat?

  2. mego

    May I be the first to say..

    You didn't invent it. You didn't make any important discoveries with it. Just like all your other "inventions", you simply stole, extended, and bullied anyone that claimed they did it first.

    Grow up (tm).

  3. Anonymous Coward

    PDF Warning....

    You should warn about the contents of the PDF.

    Patents for : "a Method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display" ,"a system and method for providing and displaying a web page with an embedded menu" , "Aggregation of system settings into objects". "Timing and velocity control for displaying graphical information"

    I think I need to go and lie down.

  4. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    ...and there you have it.

    ...and there you have it. Perfect arguments as to *exactly* why patents on sofware are bad for the industry and cripple innovation.

    Aside from the legalise fluff, none of MS's "patents" appear to be in any way revolutionary and are there purly to stifle.

    For example pat 5845077 (software update) is extremely obvious, not revolutionary in any way and describes pretty much the only sane way to perform a client/server based software update check. The vagaries are there to cover many similar-but-not-quite-the-same takes on the approach.

    Patents - in place to protect the small inventor from unscrupulous corporations.

    1. The Original Steve


      Pat 5845077 maybe obvious to you now, but 15 years ago? (Which is when it was filed to the US PTO)

      When Windows NT was only just taking off and networks were pretty much exclusive for the large enterprise rather than for a 2 man band upwards.

      Not saying it's right, but I disagree 5845077 was obvious mid 1995.

      1. BorkedAgain

        Yes, it was.

        Pretty sure I remember doing something along those lines a little over fifteen years ago. Should have thought of patenting it; could have made a mint out of these johnny-come-lately copymeisters...

        Someone should starve these patent trolls...

  5. Anonymous Coward


    "The patents cover construction of a websites without coding, mapping between logical and physical data, remote software calls, the placement of objects on a screen, and control of the display"

    And which of these "innovations" isn't (a) old as the hills, and (b) not blindingly obvious?

    I mean, "mapping between logical and physical data"?, "RPC"?; WTF???

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Patent schmatent...

    I'm sure there is a patent 'Methods For Owning All Your A***s' looking for a troll to mate with...

    Also there seems to be a standard 'We can't stand by idly/ do nothing while...' template floating around...

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Get ready for a countersue...

    Also, attorneys relaxing in large villas on a sunny beach, slurping martinis.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    That'll teach em...

    ...maybe they should of kept there big gobs shut.

  9. Geoff Mackenzie

    Software patents suck

    Also, what's up with this article's rating? Either someone thinks the rating is there so we can express our emotional response to the subject matter, or I'd like to hear what someone thinks is so wrong with the article itself?

    I mean, granted, it's a short and simple article, but unless it's inaccurate I think it's a good one.

    Oh yeah, and software patents suck.

    1. David 49


      I have noticed that too - ratings seem to follow the emotions generated by the content, rather then the quality of the reporting / writing. I would have thought they were there for the latter too - or are we both wrong?

      Perhaps El Reg has noticed this already and can shed light on the matter. Or perhaps just an opinion on the mental health of the average reader while brosing the internet.

      Oh, and software patents do indeed seem to be completly broken at the moment, and I am not sure they would be a good idea even if implemented properly...

  10. Rabbers

    Forgive my lack of legal knowledge,

    But when do registered patents actually expire? As noted by others, all this stuff is as old as the hills.

    Maybe a quick fix to the patent system that wouldn't cost millions of dollars would be to limit software patents to five years - enough time to get a marketing lead, but not enough time to troll.

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    A patent on placement of objects on a screen?

    only in the US

  12. OSC

    Have they kidnapped the Supremes?

    Why else has Re: Bilski taken so long to appear?

  13. Anonymous Coward

    MS suing !?!?!?

    MS is suing for patent infringment? WOW !!! Talk about calling the kettle black. If it wasn't for stealing other's ideas, MS wouldn't even be in business.

  14. Donn Bly
    Thumb Down

    Has anybody else read the patents?

    I started reading - and stopped after the first one when I realized that they "patented" any form of dynamic HTML that is used for navigation, if that dynamic HTML provides (1) more than one navigation option (2) the navigation is displayed on a hover and (3) the dynamic HTML was created by using a java class - which pretty much covers most of the drop-down navigation menus on the web**

    I'm not an anti-Microsoft bigot - I often come down on the side of Microsoft in these spats, but this patent is pure and utter crap. Basically they are saying that any website created with any kind of WYSIWYG editor is infringing.

    ** personally, I prefer to deploy my dropdown menus using CSS, but there are some advanced things that you just have to use JavaScript to do efficiently.

    1. chris lively

      More than that

      7251653 - means that you can't have name value pairs associated with your main entities. Which is how pretty much EVERY dynamic system works.

      6263352 - means that EVERY SINGLE content management system is infringing.

      6664979 - means that every application which has user settings / preferences in infringing. Which would be just about every application ever built

      6542164 - means that every application with a tooltip (css :hover anyone?) is infringing

      6281879 - covers all of these sites that have some sort of chat feature. Think customer support, sales chat, facebook, etc.

      and that's just after reading those things for 5 minutes.

  15. chris lively

    What a bunch of garbage

    After reading the suit and researching the patents, I have prior art on nearly all of them. This is ludicrous.

    I hope Salesforce gets all of these invalidated so I don't have to deal with it later. It is utter garbage.

    Never mind the fact that Microsoft's own tools AND documentation show how to do this; which in my mind means that they are inducing people to infringe.

  16. the bat
    Thumb Down

    Half of these patents need tossing out!

    Half of these patents need tossing out since they no longer fit the time when innovation was in its infancy but has pretty much became the standard pushed onto developers by the very same software retailer... It's like being setup for a take down. psst "My my development suite with all these cool features but i'll sue you if you do this and i'll sue you if you try that!!"

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