Monday, July 06, 2009

ETL patent case: Constellar and DataMirror let off off the hook; DataStage still in dock

Once again Vincent McBurney delivers a fantastic summary of the latest state of the Juxtacomm ETL patent case: SQL Server, DB2 and DataStage will fight out Data Integration Patent Infringement.

I'm most interested from the Constellar point of view - I first came across Constellar (then Information Junction) as a product on sale in late 1993 / early 1994 (before joining the company from Oracle in 1995), so it always seemed clear to me that it would qualify as prior art to Juxtacomm's 1998 patent. Oddly, it seems that the parties to the trial have agreed that Constellar Hub (and DataMirror Transformation Server) can be dropped from consideration; they won't be subject to damages - but equally they won't be considered as prior art. I don't understand that, but I guess the IBM lawyers must know what they are doing.

So, the case rumbles on, serving (if nothing else) to show how broken the US software patent system is.

1 comment:

vmcburney said...

It seems to be some type of trade off. JuxtaComm were scared of Constellar as prior art, IBM were scared of receiving damages against DataMirror, so they agreed to remove the both from the case. Possibly with some settlement paid from IBM.

There are still up to fifteen items of prior art in the case including DataStage 1, Orchestrate and InfoPump (which became the CA Advanced Transformation Server) and Data Junction. InfoPump also came out years before the patent. I think DataStage and Microsoft DTS are accused products and prior art!