ePlus is going on a patent rampage. After shaking down Ariba for nearly $40 million a few years back, ePlus is going after a number of other vendors for what appears to be the same ridiculous process patent for electronic transactions as before (one wonders if they have more lawyers than sales and product development team members, considering how few times they actually appear in deals). This time the defendants are Perfect Commerce, Sciquest, Lawson and Verian. I sincerely hope that the defendants not only take this to court, but also file an appeal with the US patent office to re-examine the ePlus patent (come on, someone must know of prior art that existed before Computer Associates – I mean ePlus – starting pushing a transactional Spend Management solution). The madness has got to stop. Next week, after I read through the complaint, I’ll offer some additional thoughts on the filing. But in the meantime, I sincerely hope someone at least considers the re-examination route.