Microsoft was seeking a declaratory judgment that it was not liable for inducement of infringement by customers that used its Visual Studio software, which allows companies to create their own business applications. The reason: In March 2008, WebXchange had sued three companies–Allstate, Dell, and FedEx–that used Visual Studio for infringement of three patents for systems that facilitate real-time transactions on the Internet. Those three companies asked Microsoft to defend and indemnify them in the suits.
In November, Microsoft filed its complaint for a judgment in the Northern District of California. In addition to clearing itself of infringement, it sought to declare unenforceable and invalid the patents at issue. But Judge William Alsup dismissed the action on subject-matter jurisdiction grounds, noting that WebXchange had not made any infringement or inducement claims against Microsoft. Judge Alsup gave Microsoft an opportunity to amend its claims.
WebXchange is represented by Kasowitz, Benson, Torres, & Friedman attorneys Peter Toren, Lawrence Goodwin, Steve Chin and Charlotte Pontillo.
Microsoft is represented by John Vandenberg of Klarquist Sparkman and Michael Bettinger of K&L Gates.