Microsoft faces new lawsuit over database patents

Earlier this month, Microsoft got hit with a lawsuit from VirnetX, claiming that Skype uses some of VirnetX's patented software. This week, Microsoft found itself on the receiving end of yet another lawsuit which alleges that the company is violating a different set of patents.

In this case, the company making the claims is MasterMine Software, a Minneapolis, Minnesota software group that's been in business since 1999 and sells a number of database management software products, including MasterMine 7.0 for GoldMine. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports that MasterMine filed the lawsuit on Thursday in Minnesota's U.S. District Court.

MasterMine claims that Microsoft's Excel and other elements of its Office products, along with its Dynamics CRM service, violate two patents granted to MasterMine that involve automatically creating reports from information stored in databases. The article quotes MasterMine's president, Rob Machalek, as saying, "We very clearly preceded Microsoft. Microsoft didn't even have a product on the [customer relationship management] market until five years after we were out with our product."

MasterMine is asking Microsoft to pay the company for the use of its patents but a specific amount was not mentioned in the lawsuit. Microsoft has yet to respond to MasterMine's allegations.

Source: Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal | Image via MasterMine Software

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