Court Issues Rulings In Business Objects-MicroStrategy Case - InformationWeek

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8/10/2004
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Court Issues Rulings In Business Objects-MicroStrategy Case

Both sides claim victory after a U.S. federal court rules on MicroStrategy's claims that Business Objects misappropriated trade secrets and infringed on a patent.

A U.S. federal court issued two decisions regarding claims brought against Business Objects by its business intelligence software rival MicroStrategy, though the companies offered widely divergent interpretations of one of the rulings.

Business Objects said in a statement Tuesday that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled in its favor on two claims made by MicroStrategy.

In one decision, regarding MicroStrategy trade secrets, the court ruled that a former Business Objects employee misappropriated two MicroStrategy documents, but rejected the latter company's claims that "hundreds of documents" had been misappropriated, Business Objects said. The court issued a narrow injunction ordering Business Objects not to "possess, use or disclose" the documents, the company added.

MicroStrategy differed on its view of the decision, with company general counsel and VP for law Jonathan Klein saying he was "very pleased" that the ruling "validated our original purpose in bringing these claims."

Klein said the court's 61-page ruling details how internal MicroStrategy documents --including e-mails, presentations, sales reports and competitive intelligence focused specifically on Business Objects -- were circulated widely among Business Objects employees including some of its top executives.

"When I saw Business Objects' announcement this morning, I thought they could not possibly have read the same ruling I did," Klein said. Business Objects representatives were not immediately available for comment.

In the second decision, the court issued a formal order on a ruling it made last year. The ruling granted summary judgment in favor of Business Objects, rejecting patent infringement claims made by MicroStrategy.

Business Objects and MicroStrategy compete head-to-head in the business intelligence market, particularly in the area of reporting and analytics applications. Business Objects is the larger of the two companies, with sales of $560.8 million in the last calendar year, compared with $175.6 million for MicroStrategy.

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