EPlus charges SAP with patent infringement

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German business application vendor SAP AG is being sued by U.S. software vendor ePlus Inc. for allegedly infringing on the company's software patents.

"We confirm the lawsuit but deny any patent infringement," an SAP spokesman said Thursday.

EPlus, which specializes in enterprise cost management software, filed its lawsuit April 18 in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., alleging that SAP infringed on three of its patents for e-commerce-related technologies. The U.S. patent numbers are 6,023,683, 6,055,516 and 6,505,172.

On June 15, SAP filed an answer and counterclaims, arguing that it hadn't infringed on the ePlus patents and that the patents were invalid.

The case is set for trial in March 2006.

The patent suit is at least the second from ePlus this year. In February, the Herndon, Va.-based company collected $37 million in settlement money against e-commerce rival Ariba Inc. after initially seeking damages of up to $98 million.

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