Tech Industry

Get 'em, Boies: Salesforce countersues Microsoft

Salesforce hires former DOJ attorney David Boies as it answers Microsoft's claims of patent infringement with some of its own.

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff says Microsoft is a patent troll. Looks like it takes one to know one. On Thursday, the company answered Microsoft's charges of patent infringement with patent-infringement charges of its own.

In a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, Salesforce accuses Microsoft of willfully violating five of its patents and using them in everything from Windows 7 to the Windows Live authentication system. And the company is really going for the neck here: Not only is it seeking triple monetary damages, it has hired David Boies, the former U.S. Justice Department attorney who successfully argued the agency's antitrust case against Microsoft, to represent it.

But if Microsoft finds this disconcerting, the company isn't letting on. Reached for comment, Horacio Gutierrez, vice president and deputy general counsel, said it's still intent on taking Salesforce to the mat over this. "We are reviewing Salesforce.com's filing, which we have just received," he said. "We remain confident about our position and will continue to press ahead with the complaint we initiated in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington."