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Oracle sued by i2 for patent infringement

Oracle has been sued for alleged patent infringement by supply chain management vendor i2 Technologies, i2 said on Wednesday.

The suit charges Oracle with infringing on 11 of i2's patents. I2 is seeking monetary damages and royalty payments, or else an injunction to block the alleged infringement.

The suit doesn't say which Oracle products are alleged to misuse i2's technology. Oracle sells several lines of supply chain management software, including products it inherited when it bought J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which is seen as a friendly venue to patent plaintiffs.

Oracle declined to comment on the suit and spokespeople for i2 couldn't immediately be reached.

I2 has been something of a survivor in the software market. Founded in 1998, it survived the dot-com collapse and a subsequent period in which many ISVs were acquired or went out of business.

It reported 2008 revenue of US$255.8 million, down slightly from the year before, and a net profit of $106.7 million.

In a speech in 2002, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison bemoaned a glut of “specialist” software companies that had sprung up during the dot-com boom, and predicted that most would soon be bought or go out of business. He was right for the most part but not about i2, which was among the companies he listed as being in peril.

The i2 patents listed in the suit include a “system and method for allocating manufactured products to sellers” and “extreme capacity management in an electronic marketplace environment.”

I2 is seeking a jury trial. It posted a copy of the complaint (PDF) on its Web site.

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