Oracle chose to go on the offensive today against Oasis Research LLC, who accused the company of violating six different patents in the development, marketing and service of Oracle On Demand, Oracle CRM On Demand and other applications.
Oracle chose to file their suit against Oasis Research LLC in Delaware federal court, seeking both a declaratory judgment of noninfringment and invalidity of six U.S. patents. On May 26th, 2011 counsel representing Oasis Research sent a letter to Oracle alleging the enterprise software company of “utilizing and benefiting from technologies and features covered in Oasis’ patents”. According to the complaint filed in Delaware federal court, Oasis alleges that Oracle is offering for sale, selling, maintaining and supporting various online fee-based SaaS products including but not limited to Oracle On Demand and Oracle CRM On Demand based on Oasis patented intellectual property. The letter concluded with Oasis demanding licensing agreements and fees from Oracle.
Oasis Research did not invent the technologies mentioned in this suit, they were acquired from Intellectual Ventures Computing Platform Assets LLC. Oracle alleges in the complaint that the primary business model of Oasis is to obtain licensing revenues based on the inventory of patents they own, arguing that lack of investment in these technologies limits their patentability.
The six patents named in the complaint include the following:
- U.S. Patent No. 5,771,354 pertains to an Internet online backup system that provides remote storage for customers using IDs and passwords that are interactively established when signing up for backup services. This patent was originally issued on June 23, 1998.
- U.S. Patent No. 5,901,228 refers to commercial online backup services that provide transparent extended storage to remote customers over telecommunications links. This patent was issued May 4, 1999.
- U.S. Patent 6,014,651 refers to commercial online software distribution systems and methods using encryption for security. This patent was issued January 11, 2000.
- U.S. Patent 6,327,579 defines online services including help desk, anti-virus and/or application service features This patent was issued December 4, 2001.
- U.S. Patent 6,411,943 defines an Internet online backup system that provides remote storage for customers using IDs and passwords which were interactively establish when signing up for backup services. This patent was issued June 25, 2002.
- U.S. Patent 7,080,051 defines Internet download systems and methods providing software to Internet computer users for local execution. This patent was issued July 18, 2006.
Oracle alleges in the compliant none of these patents have been infringed, seeks relief from the licensing attempts by Oasis, and also seeks a declaration that one or more of the patents-in-suit fail to meet the conditions of patentability. Oracle is also seeking coverage of all costs, expenses, disbursements and reasonable attorney fees.
Given the amount of hours attorneys at Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Infor and many other enterprise software companies are going to log in the next several years over patent infringement, it makes sense to create an application to streamline contract, patent and legal processes. It’s a perfect application for a database company to build, and lends itself well to analytics and reporting all delivered via the SaaS platform. Litigation burns thousands of hours, millions of dollars, is a major distraction to any business and taken together form a set of requirements ideal for these companies to tackle with what they do best: develop applications to solve complex business problems.
Sources: (free opt in required) http://www.law360.com/ip/articles/262334/oracle-files-pre-emptive-suit-over-cloud-computing-ip