Data integration firm Informatica has been awarded $25m in damages from a patent lawsuit filed against business intelligence software maker Business Objects.
A San Francisco federal jury ruled that Business Objects’ Data Integrator extract, transform, and load tool had infringed upon two of Informatica’s patents.
Because the jury’s verdict found that Business Objects had willingly infringed on the two patents relating to methods of performing data transformations in data warehouses, Informatica is eligible to receive up to three times the damages amount.
The verdict has taken nearly 5 years to reach. Informatica filed the suit back in July 2002 against then -called Actaworks product. Business Objects acquired the software through its $65m acquisition of Acta Technology in the same month, thereby inheriting a lawsuit as well.
Redwood City, California-based Informatica is now demanding a permanent injunction that will prevent Business Objects from shipping the infringing on the technology now and in the future.
Business Objects is expected to appeal the decision.
Brian Stine, acting general counsel for San Jose, California-based Business Objects, expressed his disappointment at the ruling, but asserted the case is not over.
Stine pointed out that the trial court still has to determine whether Informatica had engaged in inequitable conduct in failing to disclose prior art regarding these patents to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
We remain confident that we will prevail, Stine said.
But he also added: Should the patents be shown to be enforceable, we are prepared to quickly replace the code in our shipping [enterprise Information Management] products.
Shares of Business Objects fell 13 cents to $36.20 in after hours trading on Nasdaq yesterday. Conversely, shares of Informatica closed 30 cents up (2.2%) at $13.73 yesterday.
The BI market has been littered with patent lawsuits over the past decade with most of the leading providers including Cognos, Hyperion Solutions, MicroStrategy and Actuate keeping the courts busy and corporate lawyers well-fed.
Business Objects has shown a particularly litigious streak in defending its patented semantically dynamic object layer technology, that presents a graphical business representation of data structures, with varying degrees of success against many of its BI rivals.
But this is the first time that Business Objects’ EIM products have been involved in a patent suit.