Microsoft licensed technology from Timeline Inc which is currently included in SQL Server.
If I understand this right, there are terms in that agreement that are carried over to Microsoft’s customers and therefore users of SQL Server that regard the use of that technology and the recognition of patents for data-mart and data-warehousing which Timeline holds.
Apparently what Microsoft did not make clear to its customers is that if the users add their own code or modifications to enhance SQL Server in any way, they are liable to pay royalties to Timeline for using their technology, and must pay for a patent license to use those technologies.
Timeline appears to be threatening legal action against Microsoft customers who were misled by Microsoft, and according to Timeline could be liable to pay millions of dollars in damages.
This could also open the doors for a flood of legal action against Microsoft as they are sued by customers who believe they were misled by the SQL Server license agreement.
Read the full article here at The Register