MicroStrategy sues over patents

The company claims Crystal Decisions, which is about to be bought by a MicroStrategy rival, infringed on three key patents.

Business software maker MicroStrategy on Wednesday sued Crystal Decisions alleging that the company--which is about to be bought by MicroStrategy rival Business Objects--infringed on three of its key patents.

MicroStrategy's lawsuit was filed just ahead of Thursday's scheduled completion of the Business Objects and Crystal Decisions combination, a well-received merger valued at about $800 million. That marriage is expected to again make Business Objects the biggest vendor in the business-intelligence software sector, unseating Canadian rival Cognos.

In its lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, MicroStrategy charged that Crystal Decisions infringed three of its patents. The McLean, Va.-based company said the patents cover the control of report generation using a Web browser, the management of an automatic online analytical processing report broadcast system, and providing business intelligence reports to Web users without downloaded applications.

MicroStrategy seeks triple damages, attorneys' fees and an injunction to prevent Crystal Decisions from making, using or selling several software products that allegedly infringe on the patents.

"The sole motivation for filing this lawsuit was to protect our intellectual property rights, " MicroStrategy spokesman Marc Brailov said.

Representatives for Crystal Decisions and Business Objects said they do not comment on pending litigation.

A spokeswoman for Business Objects added that the lawsuit "in no way changes" the company's plans to complete its acquisition of Crystal Decisions.

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