At the end of a longer post taking to task his competitor for a copyright violation, Paul Martyn has the scoop on his blog that Ariba has filed a patent infringement suit against Emptoris. Currently, I'm sitting in on a main stage keynote at Sapphire now -- and a futuristic procurement SOA use case is even part of it ... more on this later!! -- but when I am back in the office later this week, I'll dig into this patent case. In the meantime, I'm sure that the analysts will have something to say about it as well.
My first reaction is that since Emptoris has a rich patent portfolio -- at least from what I hear -- I doubt this saga will end quickly. And it's certain to cause at least some changes to the time line of Emptoris' rumored IPO. In general, I frown on vendor patent litigation, as I believe it stifles innovation. And just as ePlus learned, you can convince a jury of your less intelligent peers -- with no engineering or software background -- of virtually anything.