Microsoft Sued Over Windows, Office, And SQL Products - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Microsoft Sued Over Windows, Office, And SQL Products

Texas inventor James Taylor contends that the Microsoft products infringe on a patent titled 'Post compile optimizer for linkable object code.'

A Texas inventor has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, claiming that the software giant's Windows operating systems, Office applications, and SQL database technology violate a patent he holds. In a court document filed last week in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, James Taylor contends that the Microsoft products infringe on a patent titled "Post compile optimizer for linkable object code."

The patent was awarded to Taylor in 1995 and describes "a system for processing a complete object code data set, to be linked into an executable program," according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records.

Taylor in the court filing claims that Microsoft is infringing on the patent by making and selling "client and server operating systems, SQL Server database products, and Microsoft Office products."

Reached at his home in Carrollton, Texas, Taylor declined to specify which aspects of those products he believes violate his patent. "It's kind of a shock you're calling me up," he said, speaking in a slow Texas drawl. "I'd like to talk further but until I'm advised otherwise I have to keep my mouth shut," said Taylor, who filed the lawsuit without the aid of an attorney.

Taylor is seeking unspecified damages. Microsoft has yet to file a response in the case.

Microsoft is accused of patent infringements dozens of times each year. The vast majority of the cases are dismissed or settled out of court. Last week, the company was sued by a software developer that claims Microsoft's .Net framework violates its patents.

Microsoft has been lobbying for patent reforms that would make it more difficult for inventors to obtain patents on what the company believes are dubious or vaguely described innovations.

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