Microsoft in patent battle over Visual Studio

Aiming to head off further legal action against its customers, Microsoft is asking a federal court to declare that its Visual Studio product doesn't violate patents from WebXchange.

In a suit filed last week in San Francisco, Microsoft seeks a declaration that WebXchange's patents are invalid, unenforceable, or that Microsoft does not infringe on the patents. The move comes after WebXchange sued three Microsoft customers earlier this year in Delaware.

In its suit, Microsoft said that WebXchange's lawsuit has "placed a cloud over Visual Studio software, Web services, and the SOAP protocol."

"Microsoft filed this action to protect our customers and ourselves against spurious patent infringement lawsuits filed by WebXchange," Microsoft said in a statement. "We will demonstrate to the Court that WebXchange's patents are not infringed by Microsoft technology and that WebXchange's patents are invalid and unenforceable."

The three companies that were sued have all sought indemnification from Microsoft, as have some companies that have not yet been sued, Microsoft said in its suit.

Microsoft's suit was noted earlier on Monday by IDG News Service, which reported that FedEx, Dell, and Allstate were the three customers sued by WebXchange.

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