Nancy Gohring at IDG News Service reports that Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against WebXchange to defend customers that WebXchange had previously sued for using Microsoft’s Visual Studio:
In a new lawsuit, Microsoft asks a San Francisco court to declare invalid several patents assigned to an online transactions company in hopes of defending customers who have been sued by the patent holder, WebXchange.
WebXchange earlier this year filed lawsuits against Dell, Allstate and FedEx in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, charging patent infringement. The suits, filed on the same day in March, say that the companies violate WebXchange patents in some of their online services. In the FedEx suit, for example, WebXchange alleges that FedEx violates three of its patents in an online system that lets people send print jobs to Kinko’s stores.
Microsoft is not mentioned in any of the three complaints. However, in the suit that Microsoft filed against WebXchange, it says that the charges relate to the companies’ use of Microsoft’s Visual Studio software.
Microsoft offers indemnity to Visual Studio customers, so this was a predictable defensive move.