Informatica Sues Acta

The data warehousing software maker files patent infringement suit against competitor.

Informatica Corp. filed a patent infringement lawsuit Monday against Acta Technology Inc.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California, accuses Acta of infringing on three of Informaticas patents. Two of the patents relate to performing data transformations in data warehousing and the third relates to ETL (extraction, transformation and loading) throughput in data warehousing applications.

Informatica is seeking an injunction against future sales of the Acta products that it alleges infringe on its patents, as well as damages for past sales of the infringing products. Informatica CEO Gaurav Dillon said Acta rejected the companys offer to have it license the technology earlier this year.

"As with any other valuable asset of the company, Informatica has an obligation to its shareholders to protect the value of its patented intellectual property to the full extent of the law," said Dillon in a statement.

Business Objects SA announced its intention to acquire Acta last week. Ironically, Business Objects has accused competitors in the business intelligence space of infringing on its own patents and has won out-of-court settlements against them. Business Objects CEO Bernard Liautaud said in a statement that "Informatica couldnt have picked a better way to tell the whole world theyre terrified."

"What a coincidence that Informatica chooses to do this now. Clearly this validates we have the right strategy," Liautaud said.

The suit escalates a growing rivalry between the two companies that started last fall when Informatica, best known for its data warehouse building technology, moved into business analytics software, ending a license agreement with Business Objects in the process.

With its planned acquisition of Acta, Business Objects will move into Informaticas core ETL and data warehousing software business.