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Microsoft's data crunching baby hit with lawsuit

Datallegro not so happy

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Datallegro, a data warehouse maker in the midst of being acquired by Microsoft, has received a lawsuit, claiming that Datallegro's current CEO aided the company in infringing on a key patent.

Cary Jardin filed the lawsuit in a Southern California district court, alleging the abuse of a patent related to a "system and method for generating and processing results data in a distributed system." The US Patent Office issued the patent on Feb. 13, giving Jardin sole ownership over the technology, which covers the process of spreading large data tables across clusters of servers.

According to the lawsuit, Datallegro CEO Stuart Frost learned about this technology while serving as chief of XPrime - a company that Jardin says he owned.

"Shortly after leaving XPrime, defendant Frost attempted to convert Jardin's inventions to his own by filing with the USPTO patent applications in the distributed database architecture field . . . At Datallegro, defendant Frost used and incorporated Jardin's intellectual property into Datallegro's products," the lawsuit states.

"These actions were taken to benefit both defendant Frost and his newly-formed company, defendant Datallegro. Defendants' unauthorized use of Jardin's intellectual property continues to this day."

Datallegro declined to comment on the lawsuit at this time, saying it has just received the complaint. Microsoft was directing all inquiries into the matter to Datallegro. Its acquisition of Datallegro is expected to close within the next 30 days, according to a spokeswoman.

The lawsuit seeks the standard damages and injunctions against Datallegro.

Datallegro is one of many new entrants into the data warehouse game. The upstarts have been looking to challenge market leaders such as Teradata, Oracle and IBM by selling cheaper systems or by specializing in certain tasks. One of Datallegro's claims to fame is its ability to handle very large data sets.

The kind people at Findlaw have a copy of the lawsuit here in PDF. ®

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