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Informatica wins $25m, maybe more, from Business Objects

Will judge give 'willful' BO a triple-kicking?

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Business Objects may have to shell out at least $25m to data integration specialist Informatica, after losing a long-running patent infringement battle.

A San Francisco, California, federal jury found Business Objects' Data Integrator product "willfully" infringed two Informatica patents, and awarded Informatica $25m. The "willful" decision means that the case judge could triple the final award.

Business Objects is pinning its hopes on the judge ruling over the enforceability of the patents and a decision on whether Informatica failed to disclose prior art.

Business Objects is expected to appeal.

In a statement, Business Objects' acting general counsel Brian Stine said his client is "prepared to quickly replace the code in our shipping products" should the patents be shown to be enforceable.

Informatica filed against Business Objects in 2002, after Business Objects acquired Acta Technology for $65m. Business Objects inherited the suit as Informatica claimed Acta's Actaworks product, renamed Business Objects Data Integrator, infringed its intellectual property. The patents in dispute are both called "apparatus and method for performing data transformations in data warehousing". ®

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