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LawsonGuru Blog

Thought-Provoking Commentary for the Lawson Software Community

Update on Alleged Patent Infringement


Several clients have asked for advice on a recent injunction against Lawson related to patent infringements alleged by ePlus.

According to ePlus, their patents

“involve electronic procurement, and the inventions allow end-users to perform a wide variety of functions, including, but not limited to:

  • perform electronic searches, selections and comparisons as well as review items in multiple supplier catalogs;
  • find equivalent items and suitable replacements;
  • generate purchase orders from multiple vendors; and
  • electronically check inventory”

Regardless of your (or my) opinion on software patents, the patent courts do exist for a reason. I’m not an attorney, and I won’t speculate as to whether Lawson actually infringed or not. 

The way I read this and other case documentation, the alleged infringements and resulting injunction appear limited to functionality provided by Lawson Requisition Self Service (RSS).  Therefore, the primary question is whether or not Lawson will continue to support RSS. According to e-Plus’ release:

Judge Payne’s order provides a limited sunset period which permits Lawson to continue maintaining and servicing the infringing software products until November 23, 2011 to those customers who purchased the infringing products prior to January 27, 2011 and who are only providers of healthcare services.

The way I see it: assuming the injunction and/or infringement ruling are not overturned, and if you are not a healthcare service provider, Lawson will not support you on any requisitions/RSS-related issues.

Lawson is appealing the injunction and the infringement ruling. In the meantime, and regardless of the ultimate outcome, they have released a replacement product for RSS called “Requisition Center” (“RQC”) which removes any potentially infringing functionality.

I have installed RQC for several clients. All indications thus far indicate a transparent change for the users. It is a minimal impact install.

Given that 1) RQC is the replacement for RSS, 2) assuming the injunction and/or infringement ruling is not overturned, and 3) RSS support from Lawson will potentially not be provided for you, it is recommended that you install RQC in order to continue support for requisitions.


Sources:

http://www.eplus.com/BaseRenderer.aspx?ItemId=4570

http://www.lawson.com/about-lawson/news-room/news-releases/english/2011/lawson-seeks-stay-on-eplus-patent-injunction-appeals-lower-court-decision

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9 responses to “Update on Alleged Patent Infringement

  1. Larry Legutko June 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    John,

    We are in the process of implementing S3 and LTM with Velocity. We are going to be piloting RSS (or were) next week. You mentioned that you have installed RQC in several clients, were these beta customers for RQC or regular client who had been using RSS?

    Very much appreciate your feedback on this topic!

    Thanks Again,
    Larry

    • John Henley June 1, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Regular RSS clients.

  2. Tom Ostrenga June 1, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I am a bit skeptical that the the implementation of RQC is really that quick and easy with minimal impact to users. How solid is the code? I was told by Lawson that there are no clients live on RQC yet. thanks, Tom

    • John Henley June 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      You are entitled to your skepticism. All I said was that I have installed RQC. I didn’t say that any of the clients were live yet. Regardless, Lawson doesn’t know when a client is live or not anyway.

  3. Tom Ostrenga June 2, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Lawson states: “total effort taking from 2 days to a few weeks” to install. Can you comment on total implementation effort? thansk, Tom

    • John Henley June 10, 2011 at 11:08 am

      Early testing required RQC patch 9.0.1.0.1 (released yesterday) and half dozen CTPs.

  4. Ram Narasimhan June 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    We installed RSS in Nov 1, 2010 and trained users in RSS.

    Now we have to do this RQC?

    John: Can you please let me know if it is truth in Lawson statement that “total effort taking from 2 days to a few weeks”

    Thanks

  5. George Montana September 9, 2011 at 11:08 am

    John, have you used RSS? What is the biggest difference between RSS and RQC?

  6. Pingback: Another Update on Alleged Patent Infringement | LawsonGuru Blog

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