Microsoft hit with patent suit over .Net

Vertical Computer Systems Incorporated filed a suit on April 18 in a U.S. District Court in Texas against Microsoft Corporation for patent infringement related to Microsoft's .Net framework, used for building Windows-based software. Vertical alleges that Microsoft has infringed on its Patent #6,826,744, for a "system and method for generating web sites in an arbitrary object framework." The patent is for Vertical's SiteFlash technology, which utilizes XML (Extensible Markup Language) to create a component-based structure to build and efficiently operate Web sites, according to the company's Web site. The complaint says Microsoft is still wilfully infringing on the patent despite Vertical having put Microsoft on notice about it on February 7. Vertical is asking for a jury trial. Vertical, based in Fort Worth, Texas, describes itself as a global Web services provider. It went public in 2000 but is not listed on a major stock exchange.

News source: ComputerWorld

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26 Comments

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too bad the patent doesnt even match how the .NET framework works if you read it...... and they are "Vertical is asking for a jury trial." asking for a jury trial because they know a judge would throw it right out.. they just want to confuse people that dont understand the tech and make them think they are the same

You get 1000 people to solve a problem.

90% of them will solve the problem in some way that would infringe on a patent.

That's the problem with software patents. It stifles development in software because there is so much collusion.

VCSY’s main administrative software product is emPath 6.3, which is developed and distributed by Now Solutions, Inc.. Vertical’s primary internet core technologies include SiteFlash™, ResponseFlash™ and the Emily XML Scripting Language, which can be used to build web services.

I can't wait for Adobe to nail these guys for trademark infringement:

SiteFlash™
ResponseFlash™

Using the "Flash" name, even as part of a compound term, would be no different than using "SiteWindows™" or "ResponseWindows™", and we all know how long Microsoft would let them get away with that!

Step 1) Lets found a company
Step 2) Lets have an idea and patient it
Step 3) Lets stick our head in the sand
... YEARS LATER ...
Step 4) Lets take our head out the sand

HOLY CRAP! Someone has been infringing our patient for over 5 years!
LETS SUE!!!

PS. How pathetic, this company doesn't even deserve the time of day.
What's their excuse? They're a "Global Web Services Provider", how could anyone who develops for the net not know about ASP.net?

Obviously what's happened is that the company has been bought out, and the new directors have suddenly realised that the company has these patients which can bail them out of trouble, because obviously they don't have a clue about the internet, they're not making money from it, so the only way that they can survive is by stealing from those who do know about the internet.

roflmao! this has got to be my second favourite patent infringement suite next to the MP3 one of course. who the hell works at the US patent office, elementary school drop outs?

Haha, "arbitrary object framework"?

So in other words, they try to enforce a patent about "building websites in a modern programming language"?

Wow, I hope they won't succeed in that...

It's a company that isn't worth a nickel whose desperate for money.

I hate companies like this. They can't make a name for themselves so they'll try to sue another company to make a few dollars.

Are we talking about Real here :P

I absolutely agree. If this was such a big deal, why wasn't the suit done back in 2002? Why is it loosers like this, Real, Eolas and the like wait years before they sue? I reckon there should be some expirary date on these things, because they almost always ask for damages in the millions, and they always sue well after the product is used by the millions, seems wrong to me.

LOL I'm completely certain that there is prior art. I worked with a company around the same time that was doing the same thing -- wrapping arbitrary objects or using "pointers" to objects/data for use in a web portal. Who wasn't doing this in 1999?

Everyone working with the current web tech at the time saw a need for this kind of thing and grew their own. I really don't know how they expect to win. The .NET Framework isn't really like Vertical's tech at all. Sharepoint/web parts, on the other hand, seems more like what Vertical has produced. .NET, you still have to do a lot of work to achieve what Vertical's patent covers. Besides, architecture is architecture. Using components in the web was a natural progression from classic ASP inline script or static html. I guess Vertical should sue Plumtree, Sun, BEA and the rest of the world for this one.

What a load. They need to line up suits against the entire computer industry. AJAX is a framework, as is Java, Ruby, HTML, and almost every other programming environment ever used. I wish MS could countersue for harassment. :mad:


EDIT: Here's Vertical's company description:

"Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. (VCSY) is a provider of Internet core technologies, administrative software, and derivative software application products through its distribution network."

Now, everyone that their software is derived from can just steamroll right over them since they opened the door.

BONUS: http://www.vcsy.com/investor/stockactivity.php

Their stock is worth 2 cents! lol

GreyWolfSC said,
What a load. They need to line up suits against the entire computer industry. AJAX is a framework, as is Java, Ruby, HTML, and almost every other programming environment ever used. I wish MS could countersue for harassment. :mad:


EDIT: Here's Vertical's company description:

"Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. (VCSY) is a provider of Internet core technologies, administrative software, and derivative software application products through its distribution network."

Now, everyone that their software is derived from can just steamroll right over them since they opened the door.

BONUS: http://www.vcsy.com/investor/stockactivity.php

Their stock is worth 2 cents! lol


I think they mean software derived from their core technologies, not other people's tech.

The patent is in relation to content management systems, not .NET (although the lawsuit is)... so whatever their beef, they've gotta realize they really did not invent the Internet... no matter if their Externet World company existed or not.

I have always hated software patents. Patents have their place, but software is not one of them. Copyright is sufficient protection from code theft. Computing concepts benefit all, and should not be subject to patent blackmail.

markjensen said,
I have always hated software patents. Patents have their place, but software is not one of them. Copyright is sufficient protection from code theft. Computing concepts benefit all, and should not be subject to patent blackmail.

I cannot agree with you more!

The problem is that patents let people protect only a little fragment, or an abstract idea, as part of a program. That's crazy IMO. :/

Like gaining rights for the part about "whip the cream" in a food recipe and being able to sue all other that include that part...

markjensen said,
I have always hated software patents. Patents have their place, but software is not one of them. Copyright is sufficient protection from code theft. Computing concepts benefit all, and should not be subject to patent blackmail.

Well said

MS has been promoting the importance of software patents for several years now. How quickly some people have forgotten about SCO, and MS's latest anti-Linux patent campaign. That is besides MS patenting everything they possibly can get away with.

You can't exactly feel sorry for MS when they get sued, no matter how frivolous the case, MS engages in exactly the same kind of FUD and has been one of the top promoters of it.

toadeater said,
MS has been promoting the importance of software patents for several years now. How quickly some people have forgotten about SCO, and MS's latest anti-Linux patent campaign. That is besides MS patenting everything they possibly can get away with.

You can't exactly feel sorry for MS when they get sued, no matter how frivolous the case, MS engages in exactly the same kind of FUD and has been one of the top promoters of it.


You are wrong. MS says that software patents are bad but it has to use them because everyone do.
It's like nuclear weapons. If you don't have them you can do nothing.