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Company Says .NET Violates Its Patent

Fort Worth, Texas-based application system developer Vertical Computer Systems Inc. announced Friday that last week it filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft.

The company alleges that Redmond violated one of its patents, 6,826,744, in developing Microsoft .NET Systems.

According to the U.S. Patent Office Web site, the patent under contention covers "a system and method for generating computer applications in an arbitrary object framework," so that "each may be accessed or modified separately."
It was first filed in 1999 in Austin, Texas.

Vertical Computer Systems' ultimate goal may be to obtain licensing payments from Microsoft: In 2006, the company issued a press release stating that it had hired a law firm to pursue licensing of the patent from various companies.

The suit was filed Wednesday in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. According to several news reports, the filing came after Vertical Computer Systems contacted Microsoft about the usage in February.

When asked for a comment, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "Microsoft has not yet been served, so it would be premature for us to comment at this time."

Vertical Computer Systems offers a number of software packages for Web services, including its "Flash" line of products -- SiteFlash, ResponseFlash, NewsFlash -- and the Emily XML Scripting Language. It also offers emPath through its subsidiary, NOW Solutions Inc.

About the Author

Becky Nagel is the executive editor of the 1105 Redmond Media Group's Web sites, including Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com, RedDevNews.com and VisualStudioMagazine.com, among others.

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