* Details of agreement not disclosed
* Microsoft says compensated by Salesforce
* Shares inactive after hours (Adds background, information on suits)
SEATTLE, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Salesforce.com Inc CRM.N reached a patent agreement on Wednesday, settling a recent flurry of lawsuits between the two software companies that threatened to crimp Salesforce's profit.
In May, Microsoft sued Salesforce -- which specializes in sales software sold and used online -- charging it with infringing nine of its patents. Salesforce counter-sued in June, accusing Microsoft of infringing five of its patents.
Salesforce said in May the lawsuit against it could hurt profits for one quarter.
The exchange of suits added piquancy to an already uneasy relationship between the two companies. Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff, a perennial critic of Microsoft, called the software giant a “patent troll” in May, referring to a company that aggressively or opportunistically enforces patents.
The details of the agreement were not disclosed, but the companies will be able to use technology protected by the other’s patents. Microsoft said Salesforce is compensating it.
“Salesforce.com is pleased to put this litigation behind us,” a company spokesman said.
The two cases are: Microsoft Corp v Salesforce.com Inc, case number 2:10-cv-00825, in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington at Seattle.
Salesforce.com Inc v Microsoft Corp, case number 1:10-cv-00555, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; editing by Robert MacMillan and Andre Grenon)
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