The bad blood between business intelligence vendors MicroStrategy Inc and Business Objects SA shows no sign of abating, after the filing of another patent suit involving the firms.
MicroStrategy used a meeting of Business Objects shareholders, gathered to approve the acquisition of Crystal Decisions Inc, to reveal it had filed a lawsuit against Crystal Decisions, alleging the Palo Alto, California-based company infringed three of its key patents.
Back in July this year, Paris-based Business Objects originally tabled its $820m bid for privately held Crystal Decisions, a move that sparked off a flurry of consolidation in the business intelligence software sector. The merger will create one of the largest BI software companies on record, with combined revenue in excess of $720m, and will unseat Canadian rival Cognos Inc from the number one spot.
The lawsuit however was perfectly timed to spoil the shareholder meeting on Thursday in France. On Wednesday, MicroStrategy filed the suit in the US District Court in Delaware. In the suit, MicroStrategy charged that Crystal Decisions wilfully infringed three of its patents. The McLean, Virginia-based company said the patents concern the control of report generation using a Web browser, the management of an automatic online analytical processing report broadcast system, and providing BI reports to Web users without downloaded applications.
MicroStrategy is seeking triple damages, attorney’s fees, and an injunction to prevent Crystal Decisions from making, using, or selling several software products that allegedly infringe its patents. The products concerned are Crystal Enterprise, Crystal Reports, Crystal Analysis, and Crystal Applications.
MicroStrategy invests millions of dollars each year in research and development to create new, patented inventions that provide substantial value to our customers, said MicroStrategy Vice President, Law & General Counsel in a statement. Those inventions and the intellectual property behind them are the cornerstone of our business. Like any other valuable asset, MicroStrategy has a responsibility to its shareholders to protect the value of its intellectual property.
A spokesman for Business Objects confirmed the lawsuit in no way changes the plans to finalize the acquisition of Crystal Decisions.
MicroStrategy is no stranger to the courts. It has landed in court several times – contesting suits against BI competitors such as Actuate Corp, NCR Teradata, and even its own shareholders (following an accounting debacle).
A separate lawsuit, also filed by MicroStrategy against Business Objects back in October 2001, for patent infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and tortious interference with contractual relations, was dismissed by a US district court last month.
This article is based on material originally produced by ComputerWire.