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BMC Software Sues ServiceNow for Patent Infringement

Houston-based BMC Software, Inc., a leading provider of information technology management systems and software, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Santa Clara, California-based ServiceNow, Inc.

According to the lawsuit filed Sept. 23, 2014, ServiceNow has built much of its business around the infringement of BMC's patented technologies. In the filing, BMC claims its patents are being violated by products that comprise core elements of ServiceNow's IT management offerings, including: 
  • Incident Management and Problem Management;
  • Performance Analytics;
  • Configuration Management, including ServiceNow's Configuration Management Database (CMDB);
  • Discovery;
  • Orchestration; and
  • Change and Release Management

ServiceNow is accused of violating seven different BMC patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), including U.S. Patent Nos. 5,978,594; 6,816,898; 6,895,586; 7,062,683; 7,617,073; 8,646,093; and 8,674,992. The case is BMC Software, Inc. v. ServiceNow, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-903, and was filed on behalf of BMC by the McKool Smith law firm.

BMC's IT management innovations are the subject of more than 300 current and pending patents before the USPTO.

"BMC Software has invested billions of dollars and years of hard work in our innovative and foundational technology. We must protect our technology against those who would try to make it their own without permission," says Patrick Tagtow, BMC's General Counsel. "ServiceNow's widespread infringement of BMC's patents has left us with no choice but to go to court."

The court filing lists ServiceNow's product offerings, but points out that, unlike BMC, ServiceNow holds no patents of its own. As detailed in the lawsuit, ServiceNow's philosophy is best captured in a recent interview in which company founder, Fred Luddy, described his approach to innovation by saying ". . . good artists copy and great artists steal, and I've been a thief all my life."

Since BMC was founded in 1980, the company has grown to become one of the world's leading software providers. Today, BMC has approximately 6,000 employees who support more than 20,000 customers across the globe. Over the past 34 years, BMC has invested approximately $8 billion in research and development to help build many of today's leading IT management solutions. Among the many results of these efforts are the highly valuable patented innovations, including those ServiceNow is accused of infringing.
Published Tuesday, September 23, 2014 6:04 PM by David Marshall
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